In the third week of January we installed the first four of five layers of the 20 foot shipping container floor. As described in a prior post, this multi-layer effort serves four purposes: a) to keep pack rats from chewing through the bottom, b) provide strength, c) to provide insulation, and d) to seal the plywood and glue outside of the breathable air space. In this respect, the floor is in and of itself part of the experiment as it differs from both the Test Module (stainless steel) and 40 foot shipping container (insulated undercarriage, aluminum rails, and cork-backed Marmoleum). Each floor will serve a different purpose. Each floor will behave and age in a different manner.
We desire to learn how various floor surfaces are to clean and maintain. How do the research teams feel when walking on them with hab shoes, in socks, and barefoot? Which will hold up to the shuffle of equipment and furniture, the unintentional spilling of water, and the repelling of dust from the Mars yard?