FMARS Mission Support Summary-Sunday, July 22nd
Mission Support started by sorting through a few messages sent by the
Field Team and KSC late last night. Lorraine quickly scanned those
messages to determine if anything needed immediate action. One message
needed action but concerned an item Lorraine was unfamiliar with so a new
folder was created in the To Be Read folder: "Read but requiring action."
This folder should help keep items from getting lost between shifts.
Mission support crew for this shift were as follows: Lorraine Bell as
Mission Support Director; Judith Lapierre as CapCom; Ingrid Leth as
Engineering Officer; Lorraine also served as Journalist so that we could
stay on schedule and shut down at our regular time. The day was fairly
slow since the Field Team did not have an EVA today. This gave us a
chance to read past email messages, catch up on some of the action items
(see below), and check the various web sites with information about our
crew and the HMP. It was definitely a very different day in Mission
Support. Poor Tony Muscatello is always stuck with days where he is
running from office to office trying to track packages, order necessary
equipment, transfer audio files to KSC, and still trying to keep his work
at Pioneer Astronautics going. I feel guilty.
There was a short list of packages that I was asked to try to track down.
I was unable to get any couriers on the phone so utilized their web
tracking services. After determining that the items were in the hands of
First Air, I learned that two of the packages had actually already been
received by the Field Crew: the DHL package and the Freshettes have been
received by the Field Crew. Clearly the web tracking services aren't the
most reliable or current means of tracking a package. (also the scheduled
food shipment has been received by the crew)
It would appear that we need a procedure for determining when the Field
Team receives these items and then taking them off our "Tracking" list.
The package sent from Pioneer to John Roesch on Friday the 27th (via
FedEx) was received and has been delivered to First Air. The Incinolet
liners purchased by Lorraine from the Dallas store were shipped via UPS
and should be delivered to Aziz on Monday the 23rd. (according to the
Canadian UPS office). No word on the liners purchased by Tony Muscatello
from the Canadian store.
We need to verify exactly how International Courier companies ship items
to the Canadian Arctic. Is First Air the only company with planes that
land in Resolute Bay? Do courier companies ship to Canada and then
transfer the packages to First Air or do they put their packages on any
plane flying to Resolute? These items need to be clarified so that future
shipments can be more easily tracked by Mission Support. The current
arrangement is becoming a logistical nightmare.
In addition to my trying to track our shipments, Ingrid Leth did some more
web searching for companies that sell generators. She found another
company located in Edmonton that sells a wide variety of generators.
Unfortunately they do not include pricing information on their web site so
contact will need to wait until they open on Monday. But since they are
located in Edmonton, shipping with First Air should be relatively easy.
(famous last words I know)
We were not quite successful in our KSC communications. Robert was unable
to reach them via phone and we were again running out of time so I spoke
with KSC via the telephone and answered the audience questions -
fortunately they were all easy! Robert Zubrin said that what he'd like to
do in the future is receive the questions in a text message right at the
start of the KSC presentation. Then, while the volunteers speak to the
audience, the field team can answer the questions. Right at 4:45 CDT, the
field team will contact KSC and provide the answers. Mission Support will
also have received a copy of the questions and will also call KSC so that
if the Field Team is unable to make contact with KSC, Mission Support can
answer the questions instead.
In the status report from the Field Team today we learned that they had
tested a new tele-science interaction. Pascal Lee and Charles Cockell
sent a video transmission from HMP to the FMARS requesting an EVA in a
particular area to "characterize the rock in various ways and try to
assess its cyanobacterial inventory". This is an excellent test of
methods that could be used to communicate science requests from experts
here on Earth to an astronaut crew on Mars. We look forward similar tests
in future missions.
During a brief break, I took the opportunity to scan the HMP and SpaceRef
web sites to see if new photos or reports had been posted. The HMP site
has a new photo that is absolutely fantastic. It shows two astronauts in
our analog space suits (Pascal Lee and his brother Marco - camp physician
and mountaineer) scaling a very steep cliff face. Apparently their
activities were also filmed by a Discovery Channel film crew. I can't
wait to see the footage - Discovery Channel editors, please don't cut that
part!. The Spaceref site has a new journal entry by Sam Burbank that
really transports you to Devon. If you've ever seen photos or video
footage of Devon, you can get a sense of how beautiful the landscape is (I
have a few printouts of some web photos in my office that I could stare at
for hours). Sam is an excellent writer and really brings the entire
experience to life. I look forward to seeing the video he's putting
together documenting his experiences on Devon this year.
Lorraine Bell, Mission Support Director and Journalist