ROVER'S SUCCESS LIFTS NASA'S SPIRITS.
Byline: Michael Gougis Staff Writer
PASADENA - There's the chaos of organizing staff meetings when half your crew is on Earth time and half on Mars time. There's the challenge of dealing with a crush of media from around the world.
But all of it pales to the giddy elation elation /ela·tion/ (e-la´shun) emotional excitement marked by acceleration of mental and bodily activity, with extreme joy and an overly optimistic attitude. of scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory “JPL” redirects here. For other uses, see JPL (disambiguation).
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a NASA research center located in the cities of Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge, near Los Angeles, California, USA. in Pasadena who have pulled off an interplanetary in·ter·plan·e·tar·y
Existing or occurring between planets.
of or linking planets
Adj. 1. feat: landing something on Mars.
``When we lost the prior craft, it was literally like a death in the family For the Batman graphic novel/storyline, see .
A Death in the Family is an autobiographical novel by author James Agee, set in LaFollette, Tennessee. He began writing it in 1948, but it was not quite complete when he died in 1955. . It was an institutional depression, something you could touch and feel,'' said Firouz Naderi, now the manager of the Mars Program Office at JPL (language) JPL - JAM Programming Language. , who was at the lab in a different job when the Mars Polar Explorer went missing in 1999.
``This is like a baby being born, that kind of elation. You don't want to go home - you want to stay here and soak it up Soak It Up is the third EP (though second canonically) released by novelty rock group Barnes & Barnes. It was released in August 1983 by Boulevard Records, and re-released in 2005 on Oglio Records. ,'' he said.
Late Saturday night (Earth time), scientists at the lab erupted with cheers, hugs and high-fives when the 400-pound, six-wheeled roving explorer named Spirit bounced to a safe landing on the surface of Mars and beamed back a message that it had arrived intact.
And in the ensuing hours, each new development led to more cheers and applause, reaching a crescendo when Spirit fired back to Earth photographs of the Martian landscape - photos that scientists quickly projected onto screens in the lab to enthusiastic applause.
``Look! A rock!'' one scientist yelled amid the din.
Yeah, it's just a rock. But it's a rock more than 36 million miles away. And with two out of three attempts to land an exploratory craft on Mars ending in failure, a photograph of a Martian rock from a camera just feet away was something to celebrate.
The rover and the earthbound earth·bound also earth-bound
1. Fastened in or to the soil: earthbound roots.
a. humans who control it remotely are trying to examine a wide variety of rocks and soil on the planet, looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. clues about past water activity on Mars.
Success has brought its own challenges for Naderi, who with a hollow look in his eyes during an interview Wednesday said he had managed just two hours of sleep over the past two days.
``I was on no man's time - so pumped up I couldn't sleep, so tired I couldn't sleep,'' he said.
And with the Martian day - known to JPL scientists as a sol - 39 minutes and 35 seconds longer than a day on Earth, some rover team members are tied to the Martian clock, wearing specially modified wristwatches and adjusting their sleep schedules to the sol.
This leads to things like sol ``morning'' briefings taking place at 5:12 p.m. (Earth time).
``I quickly learned that I had to start thinking in military time, just to keep everything straight,'' said Joy Crisp, project scientist.
It gets confusing. And exhausting.
``I call it Mars malaise. It's like a super jet lag,'' said Ray Arvidson, a geologist at Washington University in St. Louis “Washington University” redirects here. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation).
Washington University in St. Louis is a private, coeducational, research university located in St. Louis, Missouri. who is deputy principal investigator for the mission.
Was there pressure? Yes. It wasn't just the public lashing that the agency received after the Polar lander disappeared, or the criticism aimed at their colleagues on the shuttle program after the Columbia tragedy.
It was the pressure to perform, to succeed at a task so incredibly difficult, to not let yourselves or your peers down.
``It's internal pressure, your own pressure,'' Crisp said.
``You have so much invested, everyone has so much invested, you just want it to work. You want really badly to work. It's been grueling. But it's a relief.''
Michael Gougis, (818) 713-3762
(color) Firouz Naderi, NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Independent U.S. project manager, kneels beside a model of the rover that is currently exploring the surface of Mars.
John McCoy/Staff Photographer