Date Time: 20:00 01/27/2013

Written By: David Willson, Crew Commander of MDRS123

  Our first day at the Hab started at subzero temperatures with snow on the ground. Two of the team, Emma and Melanie who travelled from Australia and New Zealand, had some jetlag and the other two, myself and Jen, were still recovering from a long travelling day from California.

  The snow had mostly disappeared by midday, leaving a very slippery desert surface. However the MDRS maintenance team Shannon, Chuck, John, and John gave us an introduction to the Hab equipment and operation and safety issues. They left at 2 pm except John Stone who will be doing maintenance until Wednesday. Thus we welcome John the crew.

  Since the ground was too muddy to begin our field science work we decided to explore the region around the Hab and, at 3 pm, we walked approximately 1 mile North West looking for fossils and general geological features, particularly erosion effects. We returned by 5 pm. The afternoon was warmer than the morning and the ground drying but unfortunately at 7:30 pm more rain and snow came. We are expecting the weather to improve for field work later in the week.

  The hab is in great condition except for the toilet. We are using a small bucket and zip-lock bags for excrement collection. This is dumped into the outside garbage bag. Lucky outside temperatures are near or below freezing during the nights. The crew sorted and itemized the food store, changed the Hab fan filters, and checked the maintenance and equipment cupboards in the workshop and Lab area, thus familiarizing themselves with the Hab.

  Tomorrow we will be preparing for the arrival of the Seven Network Australia film team who will arrive on the 29th Jan, checking the operation of the Raman and Ocean Optics spectrometers and Mars Society Rover. A full-size, inflatable Curiosity rover (provided by JPL) will be a film feature and will also be used to test a planetary protection risk analysis technique devised my Melanie.

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