Commander Report – November 20th

Sol: 7
Summary Title: “Caitie’s Down!”
Author’s name: Dr. Jenni Hesterman, Commander
Mission Status: Nominal
Commander Report:

After an evening of card games, the crew decided to sleep in and enjoy a slow start to their Sunday. After brunch, three crew members set out on foot for Hab Ridge Road to search for water on Mars and located hydrous minerals in the form of clays, sulfates, silica and carbonate salts. At the top of the path, they were surprised to find mounds of seashells, likely left behind when the Western Inland Sea retreated from Utah during the late Cretacious period, 100-60 million years ago. Upon return, the crew accomplished a visual inspection of the Hab and found no damage or anomalies.

While the crew was cooking dinner, Crew Biologist Caitie went to the GreenHab to accomplish the evening watering. When she did not check in as expected, the Commander the Crew Journalist went to her location for a health and safety check. We found her lying on the ground outside the GreenHab. She was responsive and said she may have passed out and wasn’t sure if she hit her head. We covered her with our sweaters, and called the other crew members to inform them of the situation, asking for the Health and Safety Officer (HSO) to respond ASAP. The HSO quickly arrived and assessed the patient, determining she was stable and recommending relocation inside the Hab. Caitie was able to stand and walk under her own power, with support from the crew.

After entering the Hab, we were informed by the XO, HSO and Caitie that this was an emergency response simulation they designed to test our crew’s crisis response protocols. We are at the halfway point of the mission and settled into our routines, so the exercise was a good reminder to fight complacency. When teams get comfortable with a high level of performance, overconfidence can lead to massive failures. We are thankful for this opportunity to hone our skills and competencies.

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