Journalist Report – Nov 10th

Sun 10 Nov Sol 0
by Guy Murphy

Today marked the completion of the changeover between Crews 214 and 215, with Andrew Wheeler taking over as Crew Commander. The first fortnight of Expedition Boomerang has been different from most crew rotations, in that it comprised 4 people. Early Mars mission plans generally call for crew sizes of between 4-8, so this was not an unrealistic scenario, though MDRS crews usually comprise at least 6. In practice, this meant sharing Hab duties and report writing requirements amongst fewer hands, while also trying to complete our research projects over the fortnight.

The crew bonded and worked together extremely well. We rose to a series of unforeseen challenges along the way, including a shortage of food in the first week. Crew 214 demonstrated that a smaller crew can run a mission successfully if it contains the right mix of skills, motivation, and temperaments.

At around 10 am Dianne and Sandy carried their luggage downstairs and farewelled the MDRS after 15 extraordinary days here. Andrew and I are staying on for Crew 215, so we’re very sad to see them leave, but knew they would be soon enjoying the comforts of Earth life back at Grand Junction. Their departure left the 6 team members of Crew 215 together at the campus.

After lunch, Atila and David came over from the outpost to train the new crew members in the use of radios, space suits, and rovers. Shannon Rupert provided further briefings about other issues.

Relative to the beginning of Crew 214, the Hab pantries are now abundantly stocked with a variety of foods, including some treats the new crew members brought up from Grand Junction. Larissa and Jennifer prepared a magnificent spaghetti bolognese for dinner.

Unfortunately, communications were down in the evening (possibly due to another solar storm?), but we were able to submit mission reports via a secondary channel.

Tomorrow morning we will enter full simulation mode. We will wake up on Mars.