New field journals and upcoming web chats!

From: Jan Wee <>
Subject: New field journals and upcoming web chats!
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 11:00:55 -0500

Dear discuss-lfm members,

There are exciting opportunities for you and for students
to interact with the Mars team members via web chats and
several *newly posted* Field Journals and Biographies via the 
Live From Mars web site.  New field journals posted as recently as
THIS WEEK include Bridget Landrey (6/22 & 6/23), Mark
Adler (6/21 who shares preparing for the "big day"),
Jim Murphy (6/18), Greg Wilson (6/17) and David Mittman
(6/14).  These field journals give you an up-close-and-personal
look at the day to day issues facing the Mars team, the
challenges, the ups and downs, and the science of landing
the Pathfinder on Mars and anticipated events to come.

Words of inspiration are often shared, like these from 
Mark Adler who wrote in his 6/21 Field Journal...

        "If I had to summarize the feeling here at JPL, it's a 
        combination of excitement, anticipation and stark terror. 
        :-) Obviously, excitement about landing on Mars for the 
        first time in over 20 years.  Anticipation about what we might 
        learn, since every time we've sent a new spacecraft to Mars in
        the past, our view of the planet has changed. And lastly,
        stark terror of significant failure in a very ambitious mission 
        that is both trying a new way to land on Mars and operating 
        the very first wheeled robot to ever be sent to Mars. There 
        is always risk in sending our robot agents alone out into the 
        dark expanses of space and the vast uncharted surfaces of 
        other worlds. But if it all works, and we think it will, then 
        all of Earth will share with us the wonder of exploring a new

 See for
 the Field Journals and Biographies!  (Thanks to Sandy D.  
 at NASA Quest for the new Field Journals and Bios!)

Web chats provide another exciting way to interact with the Mars
Team members.  Don't forget -- you must PRE-REGISTER
for the live chats.  For more details see:

Several chats are scheduled for July...

----->July Chats
Tuesday, July 1, 2 p.m., Pacific, Bridget Landry
Bridget is the deputy uplink systems engineer, which means she 
teaches computers on the ground to speak the same language as 
the Pathfinder spacecraft. In other words, she takes very complex,
but general computer programs and makes them understand all 
the commands that the Mars Pathfinder knows. Bridget will 
bring us up to date on all the pre-landing activities the 
spacecraft is going through. 

Tuesday, July 8, 9 a.m., Pacific, Jeff Plescia
Jeff is a Mars research scientist whose primary interest 
is planetary geology. He was an investigator on the 
Viking mission to Mars in the 1970s and is anxious to 
compare past Viking images of the surface of Mars with 
new images from Pathfinder. Jeff will answer all of your
questions about touchdown on the surface of Mars and the 
daily routines of the lander and rover. 

Week of July 14 (exact day still to be determined), 7 a.m., 
Pacific, Peter Thomas Peter, a research scientist at 
Cornell University, studies pictures of other planets 
and satellites sent back by spacecraft. His particular 
interest is in Mars and how the wind shapes the surface by
moving sand and dust, sometimes in global storms, and how 
the polar caps have affected Mars' geology and climate. 

Tuesday, July 22, 9 a.m., Pacific, Jack Farmer
Jack is an exopaleontologist--a searcher for fossils on 
other worlds. His most important contribution to the Pathfinder 
mission to date was to recommend the landing site at the mouth of
Ares Vallis (a large outflow channel). While it is unlikely 
that Pathfinder will discover fossil remains of ancient life 
forms, it may allow us to determine if the right kinds of 
rocks are present, that is, rocks of sedimentary origin that 
could harbor a microfossil record. 

Hope you will take advantage of these resources available
to all!

Jan Wee, moderator