Daily Summary – February 4th

Daily Summary
Earth Date: 02.04.2017
By: Saroj Kumar (Executive Officer and Crew Scientist)

‘A scheduled birthday and unscheduled EVA’s on Mars’
The Sol-06 had started with much awaited birthday celebration of our commander Mamatha at 00:00 hrs ‘Mars time’. During the mission any small celebration makes the bonding among crew members even stronger, this always helps in co-ordinating and improves decision making during unexpected stressful events. Well, the responsibilities for the birthday celebration were divided among the rest of the crew. Our Master Chef Sneha and Arpan had prepared a crazy looking but delicious cake. Myself and Sai Arun took up the responsibility to blow the balloons. The only challenge for us during this activity was to look for pink color balloons which is the favorite color of birthday girl, I was glad that we could find two such amongst the yellow ones. The crew celebrated the birthday and enjoyed the cake with pineapple toppings. The complete blockage of water supply in the hab due to pump failure was a shocker towards the end of the celebration. It was decided that Arpan and I will have to go on an unscheduled EVA before the sunrise to restore the water supply.
As per the plan, we got ready for early morning EVA at 06:00 hrs. It was still dark outside and the lamps were of hardly any use due to its glare on our helmets, fogging was again a big issue which reduced the visibility further. After the tiring EVA lasting for about an hour, we could store sufficient amount of water in the hab for our early morning use. Situations like this help us understand how even small engineering issues on Mars could lead us to take instantaneous  decisions while mission support team is out of communication window from Earth. The planned EVA was cancelled due to an unexpected EVA in order to resolve water issues plus one of the crew memebers had severe backache – Health and Safety issues always take priority over other activities in all manned missions.
Our lunch for the day was special ‘Vegetable Pulao’ prepared by Mamatha. I had quietly sneaked into my bed for a short afternoon nap after a tiring early morning EVA and the delicious lunch. Arpan, Mamatha and Sneha continued to work on water supply issues and finally figured out a temporary solution which would avoid us having EVA’s only to supply water. The rest of the evening was spent on discussing the status of every crew member’s activity and getting ready for another exciting day to explore ‘Mars’.
Ad Astra!!