Commander Report – November 19th

Sol: 6
Summary Title: Lichens on Mars!
Author’s name: Dr. Jenni Hesterman, Commander
Mission Status: Nominal
Commander Report:

After a good night’s sleep, the crew was up early to watch a beautiful sunrise break across the Martian landscape. Three members then set out to The Peanut to collect biological samples of lichens and soil around the roots of plants. The crew biologist was excited to find several colorful lichen nestled in the rock formation. She will accomplish further tests to identify their species.

Upon return, the EVA crew undertook an external inspection of the Hab and then accessed the airlock. After waiting the prescribed amount of time for depressurization, they entered the station.

Over a lunch of tortilla soup and fresh bread, the crew accomplished another first aid training module on the Oculus VR, learning how to brace and splint a broken ankle with supplies found in the Hab. They also participated in a guided roundtable session to discuss personal challenges and professional opportunities for women in the science profession.

After an ambitious start, we are learning the importance of achieving balance between EVAs, research, team building and relaxation/renewal activities. Life on Mars will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we will need to pace ourselves accordingly for mission success.

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