For all the details Samantha came up with while planning the Mars mission (And remember, she spent a lifetime doing that, and time-traveller Maria brought the results back to the present day), she didn’t indicate who the Commander would be. Now we know. It’s her.
She had called a meeting to discuss that very thing, and intended to convince everyone to vote for Luis. However, there was a crisis at the lab that required her attention, which put her in rush hour traffic. That delayed her for another 90 minutes. By the time she finally arrived at the house the vote had already taken place. (Luis was voted second in command.)

Samantha was chagrined and overwhelmed, feeling that the responsibilities would take time and attention away from the genetics research she’ll be performing on Martian soil. She proposed a motion to have another vote, but no one seconded it. Not even Luis.
It took a long talk with her mother the governor to finally accept her role. In a way, it’s the position she’s been preparing for her entire life.
And yes, I voted for her, too.

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