Status Report

18 July 2000: Marc Boucher’s Personal Journal: Base Camp, Devon Island

By SpaceRef Editor
July 18, 2000
Filed under , ,

Marc Boucher

Note: Information on the current field season, as well as past seasons can be found here.

Missing Journal Entries

The last three days have been busy ones. Unfortunately I have not had time to write my journal. Updating two web sites, participating in meetings, listening to
lectures, working on the Habitat or going on a traverse can eat up a lot time.

A Typical Day

A typical day here starts anywhere from 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM depending on who you are and when you get to sleep. Breakfast is served between 8-9. Lunch
is very informal. People generally eat between 12:30-2:00. Dinner at 6:30 is the big meal followed by a nightly briefing. Most people work
late in the evening, some ’till 3-4 AM!! Not me though, I tried that once up here and it threw off my internal clock.

My day today started at 7:30. I had volunteered to help with the Habitat this morning. Pure grunt work moving panels and legs around. We were to meet
at 9:00 AM and head out to the site. That gave me an 1 1/2 to do some web work, have breakfast and clean up. Myself, Darlene Lim, Patrick Van Hove,
Marianne Douglas and Lt. Colonel George Martin were the volunteers this morning. Also working at the site was Frank Schubert, John Kunz, Robert Zubrin,
Joe Amarunlik and Chester Snyder. The Kunz mobile broke down and needed some repairs ý¬®±e waited in the rain for awhile to find out what we would do.
It was decided that the volunteers and Zubrin would move the habitat legs. The rest would work on getting the side panels ready for mounting and fixing the
Kunz mobile. We spent the next 2 1/2 hours doing this. The volunteer group then headed in for lunch while I stayed behind to help put the first set
of side panels together. At around 1:00 I headed back to base camp for lunch and to do my web work. The Kunz mobile was fixed in the afternoon.
I spent the afternoon working on various web tasks. After
dinner and a briefing that lasted until 8 PM I helped Robert Zubrin do an interview with Brian Berger of Space News using AOL Instant Messenger. Then I
went to a meeting for those people who start eating space station food tomorrow for the next two weeks. There are four of us participating in the
full two week study including Dr. Bill Clancey of NASA AMES, Mark Webb a high school biology teacher and Dr. Stephen Braham of Simon Fraser
University. After that meeting I worked ’till half past midnight and then went to bed.

Becoming an Astronaut

On Monday night Dr. Rainer Effenhauser of NASA JSC in Houston and Lt. Colonel George Martin MD of the Air Force gave a lecture on astronaut candidate selection. They
had a packed audience who listened very attentively. George started by giving a brief overview of all of the “classes” of astronauts that had been selected. Then
he and Rainer went on to speak about the six day interview and medical exams candidates are asked to go through before they proceed to the next step. The exams
are thorough and are designed to weed out anyone how may have a medical or other problem that would disqualify them. Becoming a candidate is not easy. Several
current astronauts were turned down several times before being accepted. Many who are turned down go out and acquire more skills and reapply. Having
your private pilots license is a plus. To apply
all you need is a Bachelor’s degree in a science related field and three years working experience. However the more advanced degrees you have the better.

Some astronauts after being selected can wait years before actually going on a mission. The record is 17 years. Right now none of the class of ’96 have made it
into space. However with the space station gearing up more astronauts will be needed.

If you want to apply to be an astronaut
click here.

The Habitat

The habitat is actually on schedule. While we may have lost the floor panels and other equipment, through improvisation and hard work we are actually on schedule.
The habitat was originally supposed to be inaugurated July 20th or the 21st. If all the work that is planned for tomorrow is done and our new erection method
passes review then by Friday or Saturday the habitat could be standing. The weather is a factor, but tomorrow is supposed to be nice and so is Saturday.
There are a lot of ifs here but compared to where we were a week ago this is great progress.

For daily updates on the NASA Haughton-Mars Project click here.

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SpaceRef staff editor.