Commander Report – November 22th

Sol: 9
Summary Title: Trouble on Mars
Author’s name: Dr. Jenni Hesterman, Commander
Mission Status: Nominal
Commander Report:

The crew was up early today to discuss the day ahead. Sadly, we only have 3 more days on Mars and endeavor to maximize opportunities to hone skills for operating in a remote, austere environment with limited resources.

First up was a local walking EVA for the XO and Health and Safety Officer (HSO) to the Gateway to Candor area. Upon arrival, the crew notified the station that the XO injured her ankle and then lost communication. Two of the remaining four crew members in the station quickly donned their gear and entered the airlock within minutes to respond. They took two rovers and headed to the last known position of the crew with a first aid kit and a leg splint.

Once the crews made contact, they splinted the XO’s leg and she was loaded into a rover. After all crewmembers were safe in the station, the XO and HSO informed us this was a drill and we spent an hour discussing the strengths and weaknesses in our response.

After lunch, three crew members set out with two rovers on a biological mission to Cowboy Corner. We were surprised to find several areas with ice, despite the mild temperature and sunny day. The Crew Biologist took samples and photographed several species of lichens. We spotted an unreachable lagoon in the distance, surrounded by green plants and a tree. The Crew Engineer successfully accomplished a carry capacity test with the Pleiades Anchor, which will help astronauts easily retrieve rock and soil samples without having to bend over or squat. She deliberately pushed the robot to the breaking point to test its ability to function with an accumulation of debris and on different surfaces.

Following a dinner of cheesy pasta with a ham or tuna topping, the crew accomplished mission planning for the rest of the week. We have one long EVA tomorrow, then the American crewmembers will host an early Thanksgiving celebration for their international colleagues.

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