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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

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Mars Society Flashline Arctic Research Station Mission Support