Commander's Report – April 24th

Commander, PHEnOM Gold Crew, MDRS #193

Mission Sol 2 (Earth Day April 24th, 2018)

Woke up to a beautiful Martian morning! Weather on Mars has been beautiful boosting the crew’s exploratory spirits!

After a quick breakfast our first EVA crew, our XO and HSO set on to explore the southern sites of Phobos Peak and Kissing Camel ridge. The crew that stayed back worked on engineering (CE), astronomy (CGA) and greenhab (CO). The crew enjoyed a scrumptious lunch of Thai green vegetable curry and chicken curry with brown rice. It was refreshing to have fresh green bell peppers and tomatoes from our greenhab while cooking those curries!

The afternoon EVA was adventurous as we, the CE, CGA and me, set out to first locate the shelter the previous crew had marked.
We then headed to the Tank Wash area where amongst small canyons, river beds and stream beds we found 2 caves big enough to house 7 to 8 people during an emergency evacuation or to take shelter during storms.

The coordinates for the cave that we think is an ideal emergency shelter are (0518913, 4252915).
We worked in the RAM for the rest of our EVA on the new MDRS signpost project.

The challenge in this EVA was the lack of means to communicate with our CGA who is hearing impaired. His beartooth device malfunctioned. We got creative and used sign language plus typing text in my phone to communicate with him. I feel content knowing we have been able to work around issues, involve him in our EVA’s and he is having as much adventure and fun while working on research and exploration during the EVA’s.

Our CE and I spent some time planning the new MDRS signpost project, we plan to do it in stages.
We are making good progress on our science, gathering useful data. The crew is healthy and doing great!

It has been amazing to see how the crew has been using their skills and expertise to work around problems, come up with unique solutions and make the best of every situation and available tools while working together as a team. Be it fixing and putting up the signpost during an EVA yesterday, or the emergency engineering EVA to secure the RAM for which our HSO volunteered to go in my place or the way she has been using the medical tools available to collect our health vitals before and after the EVA’s, or the way our CE found the GPS unit in the hab and got it working for our GPS Route Measurements project. I am proud to be a Commander of this stellar team!

It is only Sol 2 and I feel happy with the progress we are making already! Will keep the momentum going 🙂

Thank you for being with us Mission Control (MDRS Director) and Mission Support! Appreciate it.

Signing off for this sol,

Warm Regards,
Commander, (Gold 00), Crew #193
Mars Desert Research Station

(P.S. Abbreviations Legend: CO – Commander / XO – Executive Officer / CE – Crew Engineer / HSO – Health Science Officer / CGA – Crew Geologist and Astronomer)