Yes, the title of this essay is an often used phrase, but one for which we seldom tire—especially when we have a tunnel, and with the final coat of paint the light really is brighter!. We are entering 2023 with a tremendous sense of accomplishment and forward momentum until we receive our first crew March 4. For the hundreds and hundreds of tasks we accomplished in 2022, many of which were monumental, multi-week undertakings, what remains is truly an exercise in a half dozen well defined projects until all systems are functional.

Every Sunday evening SAM project lead Kai Staats delivers an email with the list of items accomplished, those that remain, and an overview of the direction we are taking, where to focus our effort. The top five foci for December into January remain:

  1. Sealing SAM, with consecutive pressure tests.
  2. Electricity in the 20 and 40 containers, then finish in the TM.
  3. Running water, sink, shower, and toilet.
  4. Build-out crew kitchen, shared space, and sleeping quarters.
  5. Build-out the sensor array, start collecting data.

And a summary of most (not all) of the tasks completed in the past 45 days:

Test Module
– Install and seal 2 replacement windows – DONE
– Sand TM-to-lung tunnel – DONE
– Prime TM-to-lung tunnel – DONE
– 2x coats white enamel paint TM-to-lung tunnel – DONE

Workshop (20′ container)
– Complete roof panels – DONE
– Install all wall panels – DONE
– Poor concrete and mount workshop mini-split A/C condenser – DONE
– Install furring strips at bridge-end – DONE
– Fill voids with 1/2″ insulation panels, spray foam edges – DONE
– Install FRP at bridge-end – DONE
– Mount workshop electric power panel – DONE
– Mount electric power mounting rails – DONE

Crew Quarters (40′ container)
– Complete fabrication of the 40′ pressure door – DONE
– Clean, prime in/outside of 40′ pressure door interface – DONE
– Remove former name and logo from both sides of 40′ – DONE
– Prime bare metal areas of exterior – DONE
– 2x coats white enamel on exterior top/bottom trim, faces – DONE
– Seal floor edge at south end of 40′ – DONE
– Install insulation at door-end – DONE
– Install furring strips at door-end – DONE
– Fill voids with 3/4″ insulation panels, spray foam edges – DONE
– Install RFP at door-end – DONE
– Install FRP in the bathroom – DONE
– Mount RV wastewater holding tank – DONE
– Install toilet and drain – DONE
– Continue to pressure test, patch and seal …

We now move into the second half of January focused on electricity, plumbing, food prep, shower and toilet, and sleeping pods. Almost there!