Today we are officially halfway through our two week analog mission, and Houston we have a BIG problem. Of course this happens on our one “off day” during the mission. On Mars you never have a real day off, but we did take advantage of staying up late last night to watch the classic Apollo 13 and sleeping in late the morning.
When we woke up we were greeted with the sign: “Do Not Flush. Use Plastic Bag.” The nightmare I hinted at yesterday came to fruition. I will spare you the details, but Number 1 in the toilet and Number 2 in a bag.
The piping from outside the HAB to inside froze again, and we were subjected to strict water conservation levels. Troy led the Commander and Patrick on the daily engineering check of all of our systems, and everything was reported as nominal. That is, other than the water situation. We were able to unfreeze the pipe connections outside and fill the loft tank up to capacity, but we have to assume that this is all the water we have for the foreseeable future. We have been waiting for a water replenishment the last few days, but in these harsh conditions our resupply probe has stayed in orbit waiting for the weather to clear. Fingers crossed for a delivery tomorrow, as it is supposed to be up to 45-50 degrees.
Another problem that was solved later in the day was, at first, looking like an unsolvable problem (at least until after we completed our SIM). The sleep study computer which has all of our sleep data on it bit the dust in the morning. This is less than ideal for Commander Ilaria, as that data is THE key in her sleep study and we have collected it every day since we arrived seven sols ago. After a few hours of working on it, along with some choice words of encouragement, the computer was brought back to life. The immediate next step was to back everything up just in case it died again. A sigh of relief for the Commander and crew.
Everyone took advantage of the extra off time today to catch up/get ahead on their projects, read, and lounge around. CAPCOM and chowtime are on the horizon and the crew is eager to relax later in the evening. I believe that after tonight the crew will have finally got back to equilibrium after a hectic/stressful schedule the last four days. But then again, tomorrow is a brand new week and the craziness will start right back up again at 7am. (Who am I kidding…Has it ever stopped since our arrival? NOPE ha) Here is to wishful thinking! Crew 172, over and out!