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ChemCam Team Meeting – Day 2 and Last Night’s Dinner

Day 2 of the ChemCam meeting has begun. Ten minutes into it and everyone is still awake! Go team! Today’s topics will be more science focused than they were yesterday. Education and Public Outreach will even get 15 minutes of fame. The meeting will wrap up this afternoon. A field trip is scheduled for tomorrow to visit some interesting geology in the area. Monday, the fourth and final MSL landing site workshop begins.

We all went to dinner together last night after the meeting. A group of 27 Mars scientists and engineers descending on a popular Italian restaurant chain must have been a sight to behold. The best scene of the night was watching the ChemCam PI and deputy PI pooling everyone’s cash into bread baskets to make sure the bill was covered. If only there was a picture on two or three people’s cell phones…

 

New MSL Graphic and Video

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released a new graphic depicting the Curiosity rover in action on Mars. The graphic shows the rover approaching a rock from a perspective close to the ground. JPL has also released a new video on the challenges of getting to Mars. This new video discusses the process of selecting a landing site for MSL.

Prepping for the Fast Motion Field Test – Horton Newsom, Univ. of New Mexico

We had our first training this morning on the software we will use to build the activities and control the Curiosity rover. This was very exciting and somewhat daunting. The software also allows us to look at all the data the rover has obtained and also context data like orbital images of the landing site. However, it was great fun telling people who stopped by my office I couldn’t talk, because I was busy learning how to run a two billion dollar Mars rover!

MSL Landing Site Workshop Day 2

Day 2 of the landing site workshop has been interesting. Lots of discussion, including some lively debate. There has also been quite a bit of humor. Nobody can accuse (some) Mars scientists of not having a sense of humor.

MSL Landing Site Workshop Day 3

The third day of the landing site workshop has been interesting. I walked into the meeting room and was met with the sounds of by the Sugarhill Gang. We saw the awesome, full MSL animation plus the engineering animation. There have also been insightful presentations talking about the landing site candidates from the engineering perspective. One of the presenters has a Scottish accent, which was cool. Listening to one of the other engineers, if you closed your eyes, you would swear it was Steve Buscemi talking about landing on Mars.

MSL Landing Site Workshop

The fifth and final MSL landing site workshop is underway this morning in Monrovia, CA. Over the next three days, workshop participants will see presentations on each of the four candidate landing sites. Hopefully there will be a concensus among the participants at the end of the three days as to where Curiosity will land in August 2012. Currently, the community would be happy with any of the four candidate sites. The task over the next few days is to re-examine the data to look for “cons” in the candidate sites that may not had been seen earlier.

ChemCam Team Meeting – Day 2 and Last Night’s Dinner

Day 2 of the ChemCam meeting has begun. Ten minutes into it and everyone is still awake! Go team! Today’s topics will be more science focused than they were yesterday. Education and Public Outreach will even get 15 minutes of fame. The meeting will wrap up this afternoon. A field trip is scheduled for tomorrow to visit some interesting geology in the area. Monday, the fourth and final MSL landing site workshop begins.

We all went to dinner together last night after the meeting. A group of 27 Mars scientists and engineers descending on a popular Italian restaurant chain must have been a sight to behold. The best scene of the night was watching the ChemCam PI and deputy PI pooling everyone’s cash into bread baskets to make sure the bill was covered. If only there was a picture on two or three people’s cell phones…

MSL Spacecraft Components Delivered to KSC

An Air Force C-17 transport plane delivered the heat shield, back shell and cruise stage of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on May 12, 2011. Read more on the MSL website.

ChemCam Team Meeting Underway!

Today and tomorrow, ChemCam team members from both sides of the pond will put their collective brains together for a meeting in Monrovia, CA. Over the next two days, the team will discuss the status of ChemCam, the upcoming Fast Motion Field Test, software the team will utilize during mission operations, and other topics. This meeting precedes the fourth and final Mars Science Lab landing site workshop next week, Monday through Wednesday, here in Monrovia.

ChemCam Team Meeting: Update

Lunch!

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