Waaaay back when Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, the Planetary Society helped the public participate in the missions with a number of projects, including one where we printed "secret codes" around the edges of the two names-bearing DVDs that were bolted to the Mars Exploration Rover landers.
We wrapped up the landing site workshop on Wednesday afternoon by revisiting each of the four sites and discussing them in turn. Unfortunately, the way that we did this was very disappointing, and made for a frustrating afternoon.
With the details of all four landing sites on the table, we started day 3 of the meeting by hearing from the engineers and several scientists about the properties of the ellipses, the risks for landing and the capabilities of the landing system.
I just posted the following update to the Mars Climate Sounder Team Website. I didn't realize until this message came in to my inbox that it is now one Mars year before Curiosity lands. Tick, tick, tick...
I left the first day of the Fourth Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop on Monday just as they were getting in to the site-specific presentations. I left with no concern that I'd miss anything, though, because I knew that once he got done presenting his own work on Gale Crater, Cornell grad student Ryan Anderson would be taking notes and blogging the presentations on the other three sites.
Today was jam-packed with interesting stuff about Mawrth, Holden, and Eberswalde! I took tons of notes, and I will try to use those to assemble a coherent picture of what was presented and discussed today.