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Commander's Report

Tom Caillouet Reporting

It has been an eventful first day on Mars, though not one in full sim

quite yet.

Much of the effort this morning was directed towards the food study.

Each crew member read through the full instructions and filled out the

initial survey. Afterwards, we continued inventory and sorting efforts

from yesterday. We begin the study today with a cooking day, and the

tantalizing smell of the salmon patties that are being cooked now

doesn't make eating on Mars sound that bad.

Our radio experiment, an investigation that has been running for seven

years now, has been traditionally been placed on Skyline Rim for ideal

coverage of the entire MDRS site. After spending the morning ensuring

proper functionality, we traveled to the Rim in the ever reliable

V'Ger, but upon reaching the access roads, we found that the trails

had significantly changed from previous years. After mapping out the

new area, it was determined that the trail did not come within a near

enough to the repeater site to carry the equipment by hand, since off

roading is explicitly forbidden in that area. In the end we returned

to the hab with the repeater equipment still in tow, but at least we

captured several pictures of the awesome view on the Rim.

Upon returning to the hab, the entire crew was put through ATV

training. Each crew member took turns in demonstrating proper ATV

handling and safety, and after not too long, I am confident in sending

out ATV EVAs.

We also learned that our wind turbine would not be reaching the hab

due to a communications error. While the crew is disappointed to lose

a heritage experiment (the wind turbine has been at the hab for three

years now), we are confident that our scientific output will still be


With regards to Crew health, Christina was ill for most of the day,

but appears to in good condition tonight. I, too, have felt poorly

since late in the afternoon, but hopefully these are both steps of


Tomorrow, we transition to full sim. The first EVA planned is a

delivery mission: repeater equipment will be placed on the less than

ideal, but much more reachable, Radio Ridge. This will allow the

equipment to be more easily accessed in case of electronic failure (a

nagging problem in previous Georgia Tech rotations). We will also

begin EVAs for sample collections for the geology and biology. The

real fun is soon to start...

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