As anticipated, today was a challenge. Our moral as a team stayed high and positive, but we each met many obstacles in the field. Our EVA mission today was designated to collecting geological samples for Dr. Reut’s experiments in testing material for potential 3D printing and looking for residual signs of life. This required finding the ideal location from which to take various samples of rock and soil for analysis in the lab. Reut was very excited.
Commander Hilel decided to break what was supposed to be a four hour long EVA into two shifts. He needed to return to the habitat in time for a communication test with our remote Austrian team and needed also to take the extremely hot weather into consideration. The heat and the physical excursion of collecting Reut’s samples was physically exhausting for her and her assistants. After a lot of walking, digging, collecting, and mostly sweating, she and her team did manage to collect the samples she needed so that she can prepare her analysis tomorrow.
Due to communications problems with our Austrian team, Guy and Hillel were unsuccessful in getting a joint reading on Guy’s cosmic ray monitor. They will try again tomorrow…
In addition to our scheduled experiments, we found ourselves needing to suit up more than was planned because of outdoor maintenance issues, storm weather prep, and a surprise electric shortage. We had to come together as a team to coordinate so many extra EVA’s, especially considering that each EVA was quite exhausting because of the heat. If there is one thing that this team suffers from, its that we always find too many possible solutions to any given situation. Each team member is capable and willing to solve every problem that arises. It is amazing aspect of the group, yet can sometimes stop our ability to function efficiently. Too many chefs in the kitchen!
Speaking of chefs, Nadav spearheaded a colorful Friday night dinner for the team. Friday night is traditionally when we sit around the table with our families. Tonight we spent it together over an amazing Asian themed dinner prepared using only hot water. We’re giving the Genie a rest for the evening. :-) We decided to switch over to generator use from solar power because we received reports that tomorrow might be cloudy and we wanted to save our solar batteries.
But Nadav and Jackie’s creative ambitions in Friday night dinner preparations came at the price of overloading the generator. Within almost no time at all we sent two team members out to an emergency EVA and we were back up and running.
We had a lovely Shabbat dinner together, followed by a long in depth discussion about the project until now; what has been successful, and what are our areas for improvement. Today was a lesson in learning to delegate tasks, and learning to be flexible with unsuspected changes. I am impressed beyond words by this team’s ability to solve technical problems, and yet we have a lot to learn about organization, delegation, and prioritizing. We are going to sleep exhausted after preparing the habitat as well as we could for the storm that is anticipated to arrive during the night.