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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 1, Sur One, Thursday, Sol 26 (1.1.26)  2:59 PM NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Friday, 29 January 2016  2:00 PM PST

Today the crew is finished testing on the systems on ESS Queen Elizabeth II and the ESS Carl Sagan. As the crew is currently on board the QE II, a crew of spaceport astronauts filled in for the testing on the Sagan.

A mishap did occur during Thursday’s test of the Sagan’s Impulse Cycle Propulsion (ICP) pellet propulsion. An astronaut broke his leg when a pellet moved into position for firing. The situation was investigated and it was determined that the astronaut had not notified the Pilot on QE II that he was in the loader area. New requirements were instituted to require video monitoring of the propulsion section by at least two crew members during any use of the propulsion drive on either ship.

Sagan ICP Gun Section near where an astronaut broke his leg this week

Sagan ICP Gun Section near where an astronaut broke his leg this week

With the exception of Thursday’s accident this week’s testing has gone well. The crew has run simulated test firings of the propulsion systems of both ships without actually launching a pellet or detonating it. All other systems are ready for the orbital transfer to Mars.

The next few weeks the crew will be loading in final supplies, running drills, and preparing to leave Earth for a minimum of 21 months. The crew is ahead of schedule and tomorrow will be light duty before Monday’s commissioning of both ships.

Also, tomorrow the entire program switches over to Mars time. This date was selected to give the crew adequate time to adjust before orbital transfer and it will have minimal impact on the crew. At 12:00 PM PST the clocks will convert to 12:21 PM NST.