Debriefing 2009-10

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This is an account of the 2009-10 mission debriefing for Daedalus 2010 that took place at the March 5th work session.

The participants responsible for each discussion point have been identified so that any misrepresentations can be corrected quickly (any mistakes can be blamed on DM). However, each point also represents opions expressed by other people at the meeting. This was a discussion.

It is assumed that some eager spacesim member will take it upon themselves to reorganize this into a format to which other members can more easily add their thoughts and ideas.

The meeting was divided into a discussion of what we thought went well and what we were less happy with. We mostly succeeded in following this plan.

User edits are acceptable within the text boxes. Edit them as you would edit anything else in the page, but please conform to the Talk Page format as shown below.

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Return to mission 2009-10 summary.


Maclean Rouble

  • We were only 2 days late launching, better than last year.
  • There were fewer glitches during the mission - the EECOM software had the most glitches.
  • The planetary surface was really good.
  • There were not too many disasters.
  • "Final Countdown" was much appreciated.
  • The fan made the command centre much more comfortable.

On the other hand:

  • There was too little time to explore the surface of "Europa"
  • The high radiation levels imposed additional limits on the time spent on Europa.
  • It was too difficult to change the computer used for specific software.
  • We need a common folder with a copy of all of the different software applications and supplementary files.

Matt Farkas-Dyck

  • Mission protocols were better and better followed than last year.
  • The cameras worked.
  • The VPN worked and allowed MC to be held at Lisgar for most of the day.
  • MC at lisgar was really good.
  • MC shifts were well planned and were used. The was an experienced flight director for each shift.
  • More people were present in MC compared to previous years.
  • It would be nice to be able to have MC camera and audio logs: VHS or a really big hard disk.

  • protons :)

I personally think that there should be video throughout the next mission, from launch to landing. It would give us the makings of a nice propaganda video. - Darth Wombat 22:29, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

We filmed the whole Red Dawn 2008 from Habitat POV ---BenzyneTalk Page 22:42, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

Lyra Evans

  • limited internet access for homework was good.
    • it would be good to have this at MC during the mission for research purposes (DM)

Ben Paul

  • The network worked.

Euan Wheaton

  • Water contamination problem was good.
  • The bunks had curtains.
  • Chocolate ice cream

Zola Magwood

  • Simulators appreciated the camera system.
  • A speaker system would be equally beneficial for keeping up with events as would the ability to listen in on MC/HAB comms.

This is potentially possible through the mics in the cameras, but those mics suck. Is there another viable solution? - Darth Wombat 00:52, 27 March 2010 (EDT)
...buying mics? ---BenzyneTalk Page 10:28, 28 March 2010 (EDT)

Christian Angel

  • Teamwork between astros and between MC & Hab on comms during disasters was good.
  • Music choices were good.
  • EVA boots were good
  • Commanders did a good job.

Arrian Amir-Rafiei

  • Having a thermometer in the Habitat so that MC could get accurate temperature measurements.


Maclean Rouble

  • Non-mission related noise
    • the longhouse needs more sound proofing
    • mission integrity and ones ability to accept the reality of the mission are destroyed by extraneous noise
    • mission integrity was most compromised when in the bunks (less noise from within the hab as well)
      • we need to seal the other edges of the longhouse door (DM)
      • we need to install the speaker for the longhouse to broadcast white noise and ship sounds (Ben Paul)
  • The launch was two days late. This leads to other events getting off schedule, less time for mission events, and missing many activities.

Alex Mendes

  • we need better capcom training

Ben Paul

  • Not enough simulators present most of the time.
    • DM stresses that more non-astronauts need to commit to miss classes during mission week. If the mission is important enough for astronauts to miss school, it is important enough for the rest of us to miss school. Even DM skipped some classes.
  • We need to make sure that grade 11 students are trained to assume command duties during the next year.
  • Lots of mini-missions need to take place after the main mission.

Euan Wheaton

  • We need to have more disasters and other "events" during the day.
    • this relates to the previous comment by Ben Paul

Zola Magwood

  • The electrical bus short circuit set up by the simulators was not recognised by either astronauts or MC staff.
    • we need to have a lot more training on how to recognise different situations; these are in the manual and some practicing took place, but in the heat of the situation it is easy to miss small signs or situations that were not repeatedly practiced DM
  • Simmulator schedules need to be more strictly followed.
    • We need more people to skip school so that we can have people carrying out sim activities in a co-ordinated fashion: events on the surface and the correct things happening on the balcony at the same time.
    • We also need to have monitoring of the software and cameras at the same time as people are working on the surface with the ability to communicate between them
    • However, the sim balcony is not a general observation post. This makes sim activities more difficult to carry out

Jane MacLeod

  • There were too many people at 440 Albert St. on Friday night. The people who needed to be there had a hard time getting their jobs done and there were not enough places for people to catch a quick nap when the schedule of events allowed.
    • more people need to commit to work during the day
    • permission forms need to be handed in early enough so that a simulator schedule can be drawn up
    • there should be a sign-up for overnight shifts at 440 Albert Street
    • perhaps we can set up a place or website with video and audio coverage of the HAB and MC where people can watch the mission unfold. This way, we would not have extra people crowding the sim office and 440 Albert Street - sim members who do have a legitimate interest in seeing what is unfolding. (DM)

Ian Martin

  • Better use could be made of the current events board outside of the sim office: due dates for forms, schedules, mission events, etc.
  • Some people seemed to be doing things on purpose that impeded the progress of the mission (e.g., venting hotlab)
  • Don't carry out certain procedures without clearance (venting rooms, etc.); both MC and HAB needs to know what is going on and the sims need to hear plans as well.

Elizabeth Robson Gordon

  • We need to have deputy MC and simulator commanders during mission week.
  • Too much time was spent in-flight, especially given the late launch.
    • this did not leave enough time for many interesting events that had been planned, especially on Friday night and Saturday morning
  • We need better and more healthy sleep habits for all participants working on overnight shifts.

Matt Farkas-Dyck

  • Good sleep habits would be easier if more MC/sim people took the whole week off.
  • perhaps taking the week off would be easier if the mission was earlier in the second semester.

Morgan Mersereau

  • We need to have back-up people for the MC and simulator schedule in case people get sick or cannot attend an assigned shift.
  • We also need to have a better alarm clock and protocl for walking astronauts up (no complaints from astronauts, please).
  • We need to get better seats in MC (ones that are comfortable, but do not take up too much space).

Arrian Amir-Rafiei

  • The simulators need better access to telemetry (more computers to display more information simultaneously).
  • Earth station 1 was a badly prepared idea (the perpetrator (DM) agrees)
    • often there was poor co-operation between MC and ES1
    • ES1 did not follow good protocol
    • ES1 should conduct discreet comms with MC or with MC flight director only
  • repeated requests for the same information or procedures is annoying.
    • better protocols for comms are needed
    • a log of requests for both MC and HAB is needed so that requests are not forgotten and outstanding requests can be noted periodically ("HAB MC we are still working on your request for...") so that the other side knows that they have not been forgotten. A similar log of sent requests would help so that the requester does not forget what they have asked for. White boards, perhaps?
  • We need to have back-up computers ready to start at both MC and in the HAB (with the software folder already installed).
    • a protocol for transferring up-to-date data files must be prepared
    • the backup computers need to be registered with the server computer before the mission
  • Training issues:
    • not enough took place for MC CAPCOM and AUXCOM, many people lack the experience needed (esp. w.r.t. language protocols)
    • need more professionalism in comms
    • IMPORTANT: acknowledgement comes from the flight directord or acting mission commander, NOT from capcom
  • Planning of shifts should be a group process with representation from astronauts, MC staff, and simulators.
  • need a net-meeting alternative with more flexibility

Jane MacLeod

  • We need better training and an SOP and script for transfer of control between MC @ Lisgar and MC @ 440 Albert St.
  • A separate staff should be on hand at the new location before transferring control.

Lyra Evans

  • Astronaut shifts need to be changed to have different sleep times so that more operations can be carried out at night.
    • however, we need to have all astronauts awake together for substantial periods so that crew cohesion is maintained (meal times)
  • Mission alpha was missed. An alpha mission would have reduced many of the problems on the main mission.
  • More professionalism is needed in the interactions between MC and the HAB.

Rebecca Kalinger

  • Turn off the microphone when not actually communicating between MC and HAB

Zola Magwood

  • If we try to have no extraneous conversation, we will at least be able to limit it and concentrate more on sim/MC duties

Ian Martin & Bryn Beynon

  • Boredom in MC is a problem.
    • shorter shifts with more structure (30 min on one station, 30 minutes on the next...)
    • more activities and critical duties for MC staff to perform
    • more scheduled interaction between flight director and other MC staff (and for cross-checks with HAB)
  • Need more people to share shifts so that people can go on scheduled breaks
  • MC should not be just about monitoring

Other Comments

  • Fewer people in command center in HAB - less distraction
  • If there are more emergencies (less disruptive ones perhaps) the less exciting intervals of time might be better appreciated
  • All-day mini-missions during PD days early in the year for training, assessment of equipment, etc.


I am very pleased to have been a part of the mission this year. We accomplished a lot and we should be proud of the results of our efforts. I think that this was a worthwhile mission, in spite of all the problems. However, in retrospect, we tried too hard to get too many new innovations ready. If we had not waited for the phones, buzzers, door circuits and several other things that did not get done in time we would have launched closer to the appointed time and not been any worse off for hardware (comms and others) than we were anyway. It is hard to see that certain project are better abandoned for next year when they seem so close to being done. However, we could have had more time and more things to do on the surface during that time if we had spent our time differently. That being said, I am as guilty as anyone of falling into this sort of trap.

I am sorry that we did not have a longer mission time and richer mission-related activities. This is a student-lead organization and I don't call the shots (no one person does), but I ought to have taken the lessons of last year more to heart in the way that I advised the club. Just like last year, we got a lot done as mission time approached, but we underestimated just how much time each task would take. We need to figure out how to get ourselves into a more intense work mode earlier in the year. We ought to concentrate on making sure that existing systems and plans for mission activities and experiments are taken care of before we start developing new equipment ideas. Elizabeth's dad, who has extensive experience as a stage manager, has offered to help us make sure that we manage our time better next year. We need to make sure that not only do we start certain aspects of our preparation on time but that we stop them on time as well and go with what we have so that can get to work on the other things that need to get done closer to the mission date.

I hope that the mission debriefing and its ongoing discussion over the rest of the year result in our taking this year's lessons into account as we start getting ready for next year.

Return to mission 2009-10 summary.