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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 001, Sur Two, Thursday, Sol 43 (001.2.43)  11:18 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Sunday, 17 April 2016  2:00 PM PDT 
  • Distance traveled:  184,306,920 kilometers   Time Delay:  4 mins 18 secs
  • Distance to Mars Rendezvous:  207,658,832 kilometers
  • Song of the Day:  Come With Me Now (The Kongos)

Jenna gave her summary of ESEP’s recovery from the aftermath of the security breach that exposed scores of Russian FSB agents in the organization,

“The production of core sections is expected to be back on schedule by next week. Quill production will take a few more weeks, but what they’re talking about is having a surplus inventory of Quill sections in Chile. When the security breach was discovered, we had twenty-one Quills sections in surplus, and now they are down to twelve. They expect to deliver thirty sections by Sol 19 of Sur Three, which would put us ahead of schedule again.

The Data mission is still on schedule to leave Earth orbit on Sol 58, and there are still some crew assignments that are pending. Our friends in Moscow had three FSB agents on the crew.

At this time, our mission is back on track. So, where are we at in the mission redesign?”

Lanny smirked and said, “Yesterday, we flushed the toilet.” Jenna smiled and said, “I was hoping for a little more progress and a little less descriptive.” By this time the Command team all looked like they all ate the last piece of cake, and were very proud of themselves. Lanny continued,

“During the past few days we had been looking at the mission in terms of moving up the schedule on our goals, but yesterday we realized that we were still stuck in the NASA paradigm of ‘mistake avoidance.’ We weren’t looking at the mission from a standpoint of what was possible.”

Roman interrupted,

“Originally, this mission was designed to take one step, then move to the next step, in the same way we used to put a ship together or disassemble one. We now have equipment and the people to multi-task our mission. We can achieve multiple objectives at the same time.”

Jenna said, “I’m intrigued. Where are you going with this concept.” Anna stepped in,

“A completely different approach. First, we launch our satellite network as soon as possible, and put them in orbit as quickly as possible. We then start our analysis of landing sites and then pick two or three. Next we split up the equipment and personnel before we reach orbit and send in the landing missions while Mars Prime moves into orbit. By the time the Data mission gets here, we will have evaluated and prepared two or three options for our ESEP Center on Mars.”

Jenna smiled. This was exactly the type of thinking that she had hoped for when she asked them to redesign the mission. Jenna said,

“Brilliant! You have a go to work out the details of the new mission. Notify Earthside of any resources that might be thin under the new plan. I want them to get anything we need before Data leaves orbit. It took ESEP twelve years to design this mission. We need to design a new one in a week.”