By Scott Tingle- NASA Astronaut and DRATs crew member
Booyah from Desert Rats! We finished week 1 of the test and are enthusiastically moving into the final stages. Crew A completed countless test events and not only survived, but thrived living in the Deep Space Habitat for 4 days and 3 nights straight. They optimized work space usage, streamlined processes and experienced much camaraderie. Today (Monday), Crew A begins a series of EVA test events that will help the community flush out performance characteristics of several operational configurations designed to optimize exploration of deep space locations.
Crew B completed several EVA test events and has commenced a 4 day and 3 night test living in the Deep Space Habitat. Today, Crew A will complete several maintenance tasks designed to evaluate the Habitat for functionality and effectiveness.
The EVA tests have been going fairly smoothly. As with any complex operation, we have demonstrated the importance of timely and concise communications. The 50 second delay in communications between earth and our deep space location can make operations extremely challenging. It has been rewarding to watch the team realize and overcome this challenge as every test event seems to progress more smoothly than the previous event. The same applies for the processes being completed during our evaluation of the Habitat. And you’ll be happy to know that our plants inside the habitat are growing like crazy!
Literally hundreds of people have been supporting this test, and the successes discussed here are a direct result of the team efforts. Specialists managing communications, habitat, rovers, food, shelters, tools, systems and operations have come together to execute this event. Their efforts have truly been inspiring!