Kai Staats reinforcing a cabinet for the SAM Operations Center kitchen

Kitchen cabinets are a strange thing. You can spend $250-500 and while they look nice, the quality of their fabrication is simply horrid. If you hire someone to build custom cabinets, you are looking at thousands of dollars. Sometimes you end up with a hybrid solution, wishing you had just built them yourself. In the end, we have a kitchen cabinet that looks great … and you could park a cement truck on top and it would hold firm.

The SAM Operations Center and Mission Control will soon be a center piece in the total landscape of this Space Analog for the Moon & Mars. At one level SAM Ops is a dedicated office space for the SAM team, providing storage, workshop, conference room, and indoor education and training facilities for visiting teams. At another level, it will be the heartbeat of SAM missions, with a dedicated 4-seat Mission Control facility complete with life support and SAM facilities monitoring, full kitchen and bath, and library-den to provide privacy and accommodations for supporting staff of visiting crews.

Compared to the tedious nature of building SAM where every nut, bolt, and seam must be considered for its ability to hold pressure, this is just a normal remodel. But as a remodel of an entire building we are encountering the same issues presented in any home remodel, including dry rot, termites, leaking windows with the rain, and bad decisions made by the original builders. But with Matthias taking the lead and Mason, Luna, and Kai pushing through, we’re getting it done!