Saturday, January 9, 2010

We are now at the MDRS

We are here at the Hab and what an exciting afternoon it has been. We arrived around 12:30pm and immediately started exploring the surroundings and the MDRS complex. The crew handover took almost 3 hours. We went through all the systems and procedures, helped install a diesel generator, completed all of our maintenance duties and completed all of our reports. Paul, Diego and I had to go to the GreenHab twice to confirm our readings. I am sure we will get the hang of it in a couple of days. Bianca’s luggage did not make it last night but they delivered it to Hollow Mountain (a local shop and gas station) in Hanksville. Bianca and Steve drove over there and picked it up along with a stash of food for our Food Study. Lunch/dinner was around 5:30pm and consisted of rehydrated corn and Kung-Fu chicken which was surprisingly tasty. If I had not been told that it was rehydrated I would have thought that it was from a can. David got the HabCam’s checked out and reset for the appropriate angles for best views of the upper floor of the Hab. It’s almost 11:00pm and we are eating some soup and going through emails and generally getting ready to close up for the night. Tomorrow mornings crew briefing has been set for 8:00am. We will not be “in-sim” tomorrow but we have a full day planned. We are planning on some EVA suit training, ATV training, preparing locations for Diego’s space suit research study and doing some planning around the assembly of the telescope.

On a final note, a big thank you is in order to the entire crew of MDRS-87 for the fantastic crew handover. I know you guys really wanted to get back to Earth and had a long drive back to Grand Junction, so we really appreciate the thorough initiation on the ins-and-outs of the MDRS. Jon, We all enjoyed the interesting geology lesson and lay of the land around the MDRS. Mary Beth it was amazing seeing the dinosaur fossils. Grier, I am grateful for the extremely thorough engineering handover. I really appreciate you going over all those little details that you learned during your mission that are not in any of the operating manuals or the procedures. Mary Beth and Clara it looks like we wont be running over anyone’s toes with the ATVs so thanks to both of you for walking us through ATV procedures. Denise, I hope everyone fits their analog surface suits the way you did and explaining in detail on their upkeep and operating procedures for the new communications equipment. Last but not least, Josh… excellent crew briefing. It was very thorough and we really appreciate it. We cannot thank DG Lusko enough for bringing and installing a new generator for the Hab. It particularly means a lot to me since I now wont have to get up at midnight and go outside to the engineering area (where the outside temperature is 7F) and refill the backup generator with gasoline. Safe travels back to the "Good Earth".

Goodnight from Mars.

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