Commander Report – 03 May 2018

Commander Report
Anima Patil-Sabale
Mission Sol 11 (Earth Day May 3rd, 2018)

With only a day left in our mission, we are a bit disappointed we missed the opportunity for our exploration EVA’s two days in a row. We hope to make the best of our EVA window tomorrow.

Weather on Mars has been unpredictable, keeping us inbound for an entire sol.

We had some interstellar visitors today, a group of young, future space explorers.
Our sol was spent interacting with them, giving them a tour of the Mars Desert Research Station facilities here and addressing their curiosities about space travel and living on Mars.

Instilling inspiration and arousing curiosity in young minds is a mission all astronauts love, so it was a great experience enjoyed by the crew and our visitors.

As we approach our last sol on Mars, we work on summarizing all the work that we have done during this mission and look forward to making the best of our last sol here on Mars tomorrow. For now, we spend a relaxed evening enjoying a Thai style dinner and maybe catching up on our last movie on Mars.

Commander’s Report – April 30th

Commander, PHEnOM Gold Crew, MDRS #193

Mission Sol 8 (Earth Day April 30th, 2018)

Exactly a week ago we arrived at Mars and embarked on this mission, excited, curious, and eager to learn, explore, research and contribute to mankind’s endeavor to colonize Mars. It has been a rewarding week what with all our research progressing well, exploration and scouting for emergency shelters giving positive results and barring a few minor incidents, the crew staying fit and fine.

The crew has adapted well to the harsh Martian conditions and is functioning great as one unit. I am impressed at how each member is being creative and innovative in coming up with solutions to problems and willing to take on new projects to help in every way to make this mission a success.

Mars is challenging ; its comforting to see the crew maintain a stable emotional quotient and in great psychological health even after a week here! Spirits remain high and the crew looks forward to completing their mission goals and more.

We have been working hard and playing hard. Games, movies, a lot of sharing stories and learning ASL have been our fun pastimes. Our crew is a great example of how people from different backgrounds, age groups and professions can come together and work as a team to make a mission successful.

Every sol on Mars has been an adventure to behold,
For this outstanding crew, call us 193 or Gold!
With all the work we do here, we’ll leave our mark on Mars,
As we continue to further mans mission, to travel to the stars !
– Ur Poet Commander 😉

Commander's Report – April 28th

Mission Sol 6 (Earth Day April 28th, 2018)

Sols fly by on Mars! Before we knew it, we are at the half-way point in our mission. We took the time today to ponder over what we have accomplished so far and plan the rest of our mission. It being a rest day, we decided to put it to good use and spent the morning creating outreach videos.

Followed it up with a lunch of quinoa, chicken curry and daal.

Our CGA captured a beautiful view of the prominence on the southeast side of the Sun! Cannot wait to take a look at the processed image. Our CE and HSO spent early afternoon putting together the new red wagon as requested by Mission Control.

We plan on taking it easy the rest of the evening. We’ve been learning the American Sign Language from our CGA (who’s hearing impaired), will dedicate some time this evening for the same, a round of "Never Ever Have I" game is on the cards after and might wrap up our evening with a movie, Hidden Figures Or Interstellar. Both interesting. Let’s see what the crew is in mood for.

Thank you for being with us this evening Mission Support!

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)

Commander Report – 12 April 2018

Commander, PHEnOM Gold Crew, MDRS #193

Mission Sol 4 (Earth Day April 26th, 2018)

Its a beautiful feeling to be on Mars. We have made a home away from home here and are starting to make a special bond with this red planet.

We have adapted to this new routine, with our Executive Officer and Health Science Officer setting of on their morning EVA, while Crew Engineer, Crew Geologist and Astronomer and me working around the hab in the greenhouse, musk observatory and on hab maintenance. The plants in the greenhouse are doing great, we harvested fresh greens today to make salad, soup and to add flavor to our pizzas. While our CE has been doing a great job of maintaining the hab and the vehicles, our CGA has been impressive with his work in the observatory.

The afternoon EVA turned into another adventure when we couldn’t find a road mapped by rovers and previous crews, as it was stormed out and there was no trace left of it. We resorted to the map and GPS coordinates, used our navigational skills and tracked it down. Our efforts were paid off when we reached the canyons at Candor Chasma and were treated to beautiful views. We scouted for emergency shelters, but all that terrain is really flat to have any possibility of emergency shelters, unless we hike down into the canyons. We have left signs to mark part of the road that was washed off, so that future crews are able to find it.

We have had a really busy week so far. Our research projects are coming along great and am happy with the progress we are making.
Planning on winding down the next couple of days as the weather is predicted to be extreme. Will spend time on some team trainings, hab projects and planning for the next week. The team is in great health and spirits and looking forward to the next few days of adventures, research and exploration. I am impressed with the camaraderie and team spirit each crew member has exhibited. Proud to be a part of this crew.

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)

Commander Report – April 23rd

Commander, PHEnOM Gold Crew, MDRS #193

Mission Sol 1 (Earth Day April 23rd, 2018)

We arrived on Mars very early in the morning, well rested and brimming with excitement to explore the red planet and begin our research.
After a few hours of settling down, we started the day off with an EVA.
A task given to us by Mission Control was to scout for locations suitable for the crew to take shelter in during emergencies like dust storms, radiation storm or incapacitated crew member. Both our morning and afternoon EVAs focused on this task.

We had freshly baked banana bread and chicken noodle soup for lunch. Yes, I have been experimenting with my culinary skills on Mars and its been challenging to cook using the dehydrated items available, but for a person who loves cooking its been fun experimenting.

Our afternoon EVA got interesting when we were informed by base of a request from Mission Support to rescue the astronomer in the observatory. After rescuing him and making sure he was safe, we returned to our next EVA task of fixing and putting up the signpost for the site that had been blown away during the storms in the past couple of weeks. Kudos to our Crew Engineer, whose engineering skills and muscle power made this task seem easier after a three and a half hour!

The Crew Engineer and me plan on constructing and designing a new signpost for the MDRS site bringing his engineering and my artistic skills together.

The crew has been doing well and is looking forward to the next few days with great enthusiasm. Spirits are high and passion great for this mission. We plan to tidy up the hab, continue work on our projects and EVA’s and contribute to valuable research that will lead up to Martian colonization in the near future.

Signing off for the day!

Have a great one Mission Support!
Warm Regards
Commander, PHEnOM Gold Crew, MDRS #193
(Anima Patil-Sabale)

Commander Report – April 20th

Joseph Dituri
20 April 18

Woke to a great breakfast and a happy crew….hapoy to both clean and do final EVAs. During EVA crew left behind … ALL field day-ed lower and upper HAB inside moving all furniture.

Despite having been exceptionally clean within the HAB…another pack rat showed up. Verified not the same one as before although simular. It was caught in a glue trap on 3rd upper deck. It did not survive the ordeal and was disposed of.

Dusted all flat surfaces. Organized shelves near bathroom and downstairs and cleaned what could be cleaned.

Great geology and views. Returned from second (and final) exploration EVA and had pizza and pasta for the last supper in SIM.

IMPRESSED We are impressed with PHEnOM mission support Jamie. Thank you for getting us here! BZ Jamie and PHEnOM.

Crew intends to depart area at 0800 on Sunday.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn! Last Commander’s report.

~Dituri sends

Warm Regards,

Joseph Dituri, PhD(c)
CDR, U.S. Navy Diving Officer (ret)

Director – IBUM

Commander Report – April 19th

Joseph Dituri
19 Apr 18

The crew awoke in superb spirits. We conducted additional map training and MTU coordinate system training as well as topographical map indoctrination.

EVA team one left at 0800 with a compass and copy of map to ensure walking directions. Remaning crew did a full field day of sciemce HAB and it is standing by for inspection and for Korean film crew to use as staging area…as directed.

Additionally the stay behind team field day-ed lower portion of HAB and bathroom area. Finally we transferred ~450 gallons from 2nd storage tank to primary (black tank) leaving ~100 gallons in 2nd tank and black tank full. Also cleaned the water pump and pump container.

Inventoried, organized and cleaned 30 headphone / earpieces. Outatanding are 5 currently in use by our crew.

Afternoon EVA worked hard to remove water tank from the RAM and secure to MARS society trailer as mission complete on cleaning. They also cleaned RAM. The doctor recommends a test kit of sorts to ensure cleanliness prior to use and water consumption from container.

EVA CREW was a little tired / under the weather so they retreated to the HAB to do some training.

Did an inventory of all food and began prepping final report for end of mission.

IMPRESSED: Work ethic and “can do” spirit award goes to Andreea (Blue 03) who worked tirelessly on clean up, garden, bathroom and water transfer. BZ Blue 03.

POA&M: Intend on going out on EVAs tomorrow for final data collection and coming out of SIM not later than friday evening in preparation for cleaning and turnover wirh Gold crew.

~Dituri sends

Warm Regards,

Joseph Dituri, PhD(c)
CDR, U.S. Navy Diving Officer (ret)

Director – IBUM

Commander Report – April 17th

Joseph Dituri
17 Apr 18

Title: Just realized I did not file my taxes…ooops (a la Apollo 13) …;*)

Today started with a training and discussion on operational risk management. We use this at every turn before any evolution. We then proceeded to explore south by ATV. Prior to leaving we policed some wind blown scraps from around the HAB and secured them and the final skirt removal pieces on the Mars Society trailer. Upon return the team cleared and cleaned the tank in the RAM with hydrogen peroxide and final wipe with alcohol. When doc gives us go ahead we will return the tank to Mars Society’s trailer and call that cleaning task complete. Likely Wednesday.

Left over peanut butter cookies and dehydrated milk were a big hit upon return along with hot chocolate for the weary EVA goers who worked very hard.

Afternoon EVA explored the northen side of Lowell road up to 1572. There is no sign for road 1572 (route sign is blank) so we missed it. Came back to it and explored east side which is the redest area we have seen to date. We could see some more exciting exploration to the south so we moved south and climbed into east side of Lowell road by Tank wash which was fabulous exploration.

Macaroni and cheese for dinner and we have a great day in total.

IMPRESSED: I was impressed with the doctor’s knowledge and research when it came to decontaminating the water tank. Ashok (Blue 03) was on the spot when it came to rehab of the tank. BZ doc!

LEARNED: We need to schedule science/training in mid day gaps. More of a plan helps the crew pass time since we are short on science. See POA&M

POA&M: Intend to continue exploration of our northern areas tomorrow.

Training scheduled:
1. Psychology and crew selection – Doc and Commander
2. Suborbital mission profile – Rich Blakeman
3. Social Media – Victoria
~ Dituri sends

Commander Report – April 16th

Joseph Dituri

16 April 18

TITLE: There was a mouse about the house.

Last night the crew decided to play Coupe. This card game had us rolling for several hours. “Duke Money” was yelled myriad times and we fondly recalled our other team mates.

When we went to sleep one person noted a mouse going under the frig. XO set out a trap and we had a visitor by morning. We named him Paul Watney for our missing crew member and the Martian.

The morning EVA was a walking expedition to test exertion and fogging. We also hiked the ridge behind the HAB and made it to almost the next ridge…death march by Andreea.

Upon return we had a super brunch and the crew who stayed field day-ed the upper portion of the HAB …slowley we are moving every piece of furnature and cleaning behind or under it so that this place will be super clean at the end.

Afternoon EVA was curtailed….we changed it to a short EVA mission to drop off mouse Watney far enough away that he could not walk back. I did an Operational Risk Mitigation matrix and decided it was safe to proceed. We put two people in one Rover and proceeded. The wind kicked up a bit but it was safe and we got rid of the mouse. RTB coupled with some minor engineering tasks to ensure the cargo on Mars Society trailer would not fly free from increased wind.

Uneventful dinner and rest of the day …planning on resting a bit. We made peanut butter cookies. Yum.

IMPRESSED: I was impressed with Victoria ( Blue 04) who persevered on a death march up hill BOTH WAYS and got the best shit of the trip so far….what a photographer.

LEARNED: I leanred that the map at our disposal is more or less a “guide”….if it says “space suit road” that translates to unrecognizable path that goes up the hill…;*)

POA&M: Tomorrow keep cleaning the water tank and finish HAB skirt removal process. EVAs to look north and finish up south exploration.

~Dituri sends