XO Report – April 26th

Crew 179 XO’s Report 04.26.2017
Sol 3

There is nothing like a Martian sunrise.

The crew got up a little earlier than usual and were treated to a crimson solar breach over the red desert outside the Hab. Photos through the portholes never do it justice but always provide a warm reminder at some point when you look at them again.

Morning lectures started on time at 08:00 and covered radiation and visual impairment in space. EVA mission brief was at 10:00. The objectives of today’s mission were to establish a comms relay south of the Hab at Tim’s (or Thomas) peak and to test Mars Mound and 3 other test relay sites due south of that location. The mission proceeded well with Tim’s Peak relay established with Mars Mound and test site 1 and 2. Time constraints resulted in aborting the search for test site 3. On the return, one crew member suffered a serious injury which precipitated a delta evacuation to base. The team arrived at Hab with casualty at mission time + 25 minutes with all team members on oxygen reserve. Patient was stabilized in Hab by the medical team. The EVA (sim) was terminated when patient was stable inside the Hab. Debrief has held afterwards over another Rick Cole special meal: enchilizza (an enchilada with pizza toppings). Strange, yet delicious.

In terms of the debrief itself, we felt the team performed well under the circumstances with good initial relay and exploration of test sites as well as prompt medical evacuation and treatment of the casualty.

Some fine tuning of our approach was made during the debrief. After the debrief we continued with lectures with ‘Virtual Dana’ giving two lectures: contingencies on EVAs in Mars environment and spatial adaptation in zero gravity and space flight.

During the virtual lectures, we received a priority message from Shannon. She informed us that the water delivery person had run off with a woman ‘from Venus’ and was non-contactable. She stepped up and went to fill the water and delivered it to us. We duly informed her that she was our Obi-Wan and was indeed “our only hope.” It’s a relief to know that our water situation has been resolved.

Following VD’s (Virtual Dana’s) lectures Sarah led several (punishing) exercise sessions which earned her the monicker, Sarah Connor (of ‘Terminator’ fame).

Of note, CO Ben appears to be having some difficulty with color differentiation in the yellow-orange spectrum. We are hoping that this is a transient visual condition. He has no other symptoms of note, but we will continue to monitor him.

In the evening, we were treated to a great potatoes-au-gratin courtesy of Kevin and Adam. To feed the holes left by Sarah Connor’s (punishing) workouts we had a few supplementary side plates of tuna cheese wraps which hit the spot.

The plan for the evening is a group discussion of an excerpt from Bryan Burrough’s ‘Dragonfly’ and then chocolate brownies… of course.