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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 001, Sur Two, Friday, Sol 44 (001.2.44)  10:39 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Monday, 18 April 2016  2:00 PM PDT 
  • Distance traveled:  188,355,816 kilometers   Time Delay:  4 mins 18 secs
  • Distance to Mars Rendezvous:  204,053,936 kilometers
  • Song of the Day:  This is How We Do (Katy Perry)

The Science Division meeting had just started. It was being transmitted Earthside to allow the ground science team to observe and comment. The issue under discussion dealt with the new mission plan.

Lanny described the new concept,

“We always thought that we would have a main ground lab, but we assumed the main lab would be on Mars Prime. What we want to do is put the main lab on the surface at the Mars ESEP Center, and research labs at any other landing site. This will allow for a quick turnaround on any sampling analysis, and it just makes more sense.”

Jenna asked, “What about Mars contamination concerns?” Alexander jumped in,

“We have extensive safeguards in place, but the reality is that we’ve already been contaminating Mars. Every probe that has landed on Mars has introduced foreign material into the its environment. Our presence on Mars will contaminate the planet, however, the lab has to maintain multiple layers of separation to preserve the integrity of our research, so reverse contamination is highly improbable.”

Lanny continued,

“We already have designed a robust ground lab under the old plan. Under the new plan we would expand that lab, and add additional safeguards if we need it. For example, we could restrict the lab to only allow exterior entrance and exits, meaning, no connection to any other Hab units.”

Jenna asked, “What about the Oxygen Producing Bacteria experiment?” Lanny said, “Phase One would be at the main lab, then Phase Two at all surface labs to duplicate the results.” Jenna said, “Chickens?” Zeke said, “At the main lab for the foreseeable future. I would like to use the damaged Comm core section for the chickens, and possible take it to the surface.” Jenna said, “Talk to Roman and get his okay, but I’m fine with it.”

Jenna said, “What about staff?” Lanny replied,

“In addition to the four we have absorbed from the Charlie One crew, we have eighteen more coming on the Data mission. We will need more staff after we are settled in, but we should be able to handle the initial work with the current staff. Our transition from laboratory for the exploration mission to a research facility should be a matter of weeks, not years, as initially planned.”

Alexander asked, “Can we go back to the OPB? I have been following up on the work done Earthside and I’m concerned about the bacteria’s potential interaction with animals.” Jenna asked, “What’s your concern?” “We don’t have any data on what happens if they are inhaled,” Alexander replied, “They feed off carbon dioxide and if they got into our lungs, I’m concerned they might have an adverse effect….I’d like to do an animal trial before Phase Two.”

Zeke said, “Your talking about my chickens, right?” Lanny said, “Our chickens, and yes, I think that would be a good idea.” Jenna said, “Sorry Zeke, I think you can spare a few chickens…we only need their lungs.” Zeke laughed and said, “Okay, but if you kill them, we eat them.”