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Day 7 Pre-sim

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Tomorrow we plan to start our simulated mission at noon. This means if we need anything outside, we need to don a space suit, wait time to pressurize and depressurize the airlock, and follow procedures for sequencing doors, collecting samples, and all other operations (except fetching water). If we take our glove off to turn a pin or pick up a sample we “die”. If we open the inner door before we close the outer door, everyone is “dead”. The tasks we have for the mission are science and engineering. The science will continue to explore the crater, record radiation levels, and deploy some other experiments. The engineering tasks will be to repair an ATV tire with a canned tire repair product, install a sink drain on the first floor laboratory, and record degree directions on the inside of the hab walls on both floors (the orientation of the circular hab is such that we cannot easily determine when we are under or over a particular location. I’ll also begin preparing for my record of the hab structure and systems.

We still have a lot to do outside today. Any opportunity to steal a moment away is nice, I have to continue to set up my room and write in my journal. The leak has stopped and there is still an amount of water in the hopper, which will work fine for us. We’ll repair it in sim by melting the plastic crack with a soldering iron or something.

Andrew has us being more rigorous with the sim rules to get used to them now that we are living inside. He has us perform the sequencing (without the wait for the airlock to pressurize) every time we move in or out and we can never be alone outside – prior to this we were all living outside and no one was alone anyway.

Terry made crystalized eggs and chorizo for breakfast and we also had cereal and coffee. Lunch was rice with chicken and veggies mixed in. Dinner was another pasta with tomato sauce and tuna, I’m really liking this meal. Olivia also mentions a tuna salad sandwich with sweet corn (in the sandwich) is also very good and I’m planning to try it. We’ll make pizza tomorrow in the toaster oven. This isn’t exactly roughing it anymore. We have a hot shower too, and I was awarded the A-1 Proper Martian award for least amount of water used in the shower. I thought it was a great shower a little on the indulgent side.

We held another conference with the Australian chapter of the Mars Society, there were plenty of questions and I was a little nervous answering not knowing how many people were on the call. After that we had another impromptu geology lesson with Andrew. Another movie, a comedy to balance yesterday’s earthquake documentary. Blazing Saddles. We have vanilla pudding with chocolate chips.

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