Journalist Report – November 22th

Fri 22 Nov Sol 12
by Guy Murphy
Like Mars drying up after the Hesperian, the dark red wet areas and
puddles around the
Hab are receding and the dry paler new crust is taking over. And so we
finish our last
day of Expedition Boomerang in full simulation mode, and prepare to hand
over the
campus to the new incoming crew and move to the next phase of our
travels
As with a real crew on Mars preparing their base for a new mission, we
have been busy
cleaning the interiors of each of the buildings and making sure
everything is in order.
As Greenhab officer, I planted my final batch of seeds, carefully tidied
and swept the
greenhouse and wrote up some guidence notes for the next crew. An
inventory of the Hab
pantry has been forwarded, as well as final reports on the various
campus systems. The
emphasis on crew reporting here reflects a very real need for accurate
ongoing
reportage from the Mars surface if shortages and breakdowns on a distant
world are to
be avoided.
For me, it has been deeply rewarding to return to the MDRS after 16
years. I have
enjoyed introducing a motivated and talented team of people to a Mars
analogue
simulation. I am very impressed at how the campus has evolved. A great
deal of
sustained experiment and thought has gone into many different aspects of
the campus
infrastructure and its operational protocols. The analogue space suits
are very
sophisticated. The MDRS begun as a speculative concept in the early
2000s, and, that it
continues to operate, reflects both the hard work of many people and the
deep value of
the project.
Expedition Boomerang has been the first Australian led MDRS mission. It
has brought
together individuals from across Australia and New Zealand. We have
completed research
projects across various disciplines, and learnt to live and work
together in harmonious
teams in constrained conditions. The MDRS provides a physical platform
in which to
experience the issues associated with deep space exploration. This is
complemented by
the mindset and mental resources crew bring to it. Crews 214 and 215
brought a wide
range of talents to the expedition, and all involved have benefited
greatly from the
experience. We have appreciated the work of Mission Support and the
Outpost crew. We
are sad to leave.
We look forward to meeting and assisting Crew 216 tomorrow.