"Third anniversary?" some of you may be asking. "Hasn't it been more like five years since Spirit landed?" Five Earth years, yes. But today is the third anniversary of the landing, measured in Mars years.
In 1995, 572 astronaut applicants were narrowed down to 125 based on their resumes and English scores, then down to 48 based on paper exams and brief medical checks. These 48 candidates went through a week of comprehensive medical checks and job interviews.
Each Titan flyby is not a fork in the road, but rather a Los Angeles style cloverleaf in terms of the dizzying number of possible destinations. So how did our current and future plans for the path of the Cassini spacecraft come to be? That's the question Dave Seal put to me since that's my job -- I am a tour designer.
After a hectic week of tying up loose ends and running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I now have my proster done for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and am in Phoenix for the Planetary Surface Processes field trip, led by my adviser Jim Bell.
Scott Maxwell is one of those many guys (and gals) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who rarely gets his name in the news but who is absolutely indispensable to the success of a space mission. I don't know what his official title is, but whatever it is, it's not as good as the colloquial name given to his position: Rover Driver.
It's a legal holiday here in the U.S. (President's day), and my daughter's babysitter is taking the day off, so I won't be getting much work done today. But I thought I'd check in to share the fact that, as we got out of the car last week, my daughter pointed up in the sky at the crescent moon and said "Dat!" so I gave her the word, "Moon."