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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 1, Sur One, Sol 21 (1.1.21)  6:12 PM NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  24 January 2016  2:00 PM PST

Yesterday was Crew Emplacement Day. That means all 28 crew members reported for duty on the ESS Queen Elizabeth II. Most of the crew of 28 was already on board; however, a few people were working out of other locations. With one exception, the crew has been in orbit for over six months.

South Pacific from the International Space Station (credit: NASA/ISS Live

South Pacific from the International Space Station (credit: NASA/ISS Live 23 Jan 2016)

Two of the engineering crew and our Pilot were still wrapping up preparations on our sister ship, the ESS Carl Sagan, and three members of the Communication staff, and two members of the Science staff moved over from Earth Spaceport Prime. The final person on board was Wendy Stevens, our Mission Counselor.

During this next week the crew will be conducting tests of all the ships systems. They have one week to address any last-minute problems before the ships and crew are commissioned on 1 February.

This weekend the crew has a loose schedule in order to prepare their living quarters and their work areas. On Sunday night the Commander has a celebration dinner planned for the entire crew. This may be the first and last time the crew will be able to have two hours of time together. Once the ship is commissioned part of the crew will always be on duty at all times, and once they arrive at Mars, part of the crew will live on the surface while some remain in orbit.

The Mars Mission 2016 is starting to become a reality now that the ship has its crew. Soon our first human ambassadors will be on their journey to Mars.