Crew 220, MDRS
Crew 220 Commander Report 30Jan2020
Author: John Hanacek, Commander
Title: Ground to Sky – Commander’s Return Home
Sol 11 arrived very early. After three tedious days in quarantine, Crew Lead, Jewell and I were cleared for release. A clean bill of health was welcome news as we began our journey back home to MDRS. Mars continues to teach me patience and respect – for all that I see, feel, hear and that which I do not fully comprehend. Although I embrace the lesson now, late last night being literally stuck in the Mars mud as we returned home, I realize that the time to reflect and literally ground myself for the challenge or assuming Command was invaluable.
On arrival, I was truly delighted see the MAU and MDRS Crew. They were finishing the first-ever “Future Café” led by International Astronomy Researcher, Marufa Akhter Bhuiyan. This exercise, I was informed, helped the Crew travel in ‘imaginary time’ to 2050 and imagine where they and society would be on Mars or other parts of the known/unknown solar systems. Experiencing pressures of leadership with levels of operational and self-monitoring well above my normal comfort zone on Earth, I truly appreciated the Crew going through the Future Café experience which I feel helped them ‘fly” in today’s MEVA.
Today marked a very important small step forward for Martian-kind: pulling all the medical assessment training and technology together and testing its efficacy in an ICE environment. The Crew performed very well, meeting six (6) of eight (8) objectives. In short, safety, operational efficiency and procedural execution was very well done. Improvements are needed between the MEVA Crew and HabComms and we expect better results from the technology deployment – the semi-autonomous drone is to actually take flight.
Between the MEVA, an intense afternoon to catch up on science, patriciate in a mini-medical technology expo on the lower deck, and making dinner. The day has been very action oriented. Despite just a few hours of sleep, I remain vigilant, committed and very hopeful for a strong finish to the Mission – I expect that from myself and seek insight from XO Delisle and my crew so that I can be my best. I also commit to guiding the Crew to reach their potential by end of Mission – not as a conclusion, but as inspiration to fly higher and expand beyond.