Archive of America Goes Back to School Chat

Date: September 30, 1997

Featuring: Rob Manning
Pathfinder Chief Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California



Good Morning Forestwood! We'll begin chatting in about 5 minutes...

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:02AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [9 ]
we're getting your testing messages...

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:02AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [10 ]
OK, 5 minutes (our students aren't here *just* yet...)

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [11 ]
Hi, we are from Sonora Elementary School in Sonora, CA. We are 6th grade students Jeff, Keith, Joey, Summer and Cody. What's new with pathfinder?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:05AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [12 ]
how long have you been working at JPL

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:06AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [13 ]
Good Morning Sonora Elementary! Rob will be here in just another minute or so... hang on with your question!

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:08AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [14 ]
Good Morning and welcome to the second set of "America Goes Back to School" WebChats! Our first guest today is Rob Manning from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Rob is the chief flight systems engineer for Mars Pathfinder. This means that he is responsible for the design, development and test of all aspects of the spacecraft. In addition, he was also the lead system engineer for the entry, descent and landing phase of the mission. And one last note: Rob became a new dad this past week :-)

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [15 ]
Hi, we are from Sonora Elementary School in Sonora, CA. We are 6th grade students Jeff, Keith, Joey, Summer and Cody. What's new with pathfinder?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [16 ]
Rob is now here and ready to take your questions!

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [17 ]
Why are people so interested in Mars?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [18 ]
Good morning everyone! I'm here now!

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [19 ]
Jeff, this past week Sojourner has been busy near the rock called Chimp....

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [20 ]
WHOEVER WROTE "Why are people so interested in Mars?" YOU NEED TO TYPE IN YOUR NAME IN THE B0X BELOW THAT SAYS "Your Handle." Thanks :-)

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:11AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [21 ]
what's new with the pathfinder?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [22 ]
It has also been taking pictures of places that the lander's camera can't see.. what we call the "swale". It was very neat, we saw real sand-particle sand dunes!! The first ever recorded on Mars!

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [23 ]
Who is naming the rocks?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [24 ]
how long have you been studing Mars?

kyle: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [25 ]
How long did you stay in college to become an engineer for NASA

Team 2 group: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [26 ]
How big was the lander Pathfinder that carried the Sojourner.

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [27 ]
Hello I am an eithth grade student from Little Silver NJ. I would like to know how long do you intend to stay on Mars

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [28 ]
Jeff, I have been working at JPL since 1981 .. on the Galileo, Magellan, Cassini spacecrafts before Pathfinder.

paul: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [29 ]
why are people so interested in mars

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [30 ]
Jeff, I have only been a "Martian" for the past 5 years! I'm new at Mars!

caleb: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [31 ]
have you ever been to space.

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [32 ]
What have you found out about the rocks on mars?

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [33 ]
If you were to make another Mars Pathfinder what changes would you make and why?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [34 ]
Thanks Paul! We'll get to your question shortly!

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [35 ]
How old are you?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [36 ]
Forrestwood, the rocks have been named mostly by Pathfinder scientists and engineers. We take a piece of sticky yellow note paper and put our proposed names on a big photo of the landing site.

casey: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [37 ]
Did you know what was wrong with the space station MIR

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:17AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [38 ]
What is the Path finder's top speed, and how long do you think it will take for the Pathfinder to orbit Mars?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:17AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [39 ]
Are you going to ever study any other planets?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [40 ]
Kyle, I studied math, physics and electrical engineering full time for five and a half years, I have since taken many other classes in various other areas of engineering part time. My education NEVER stops!

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [41 ]
Who named the rocks?

Jordan: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [42 ]
What were you doing at the time the space shuttle Challenger took off

Phylicia: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [43 ]
will the surveyor aerobrake enough to land on Mars?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [44 ]
What are the benefits of sending people to mars instead of robots? do they outweigh the added costs?

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [45 ]
How is the Pathfinder going to get back to Earth?

Ashley: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [46 ]
What is your job title?

Team: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [47 ]
Why does mars have black spots?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [48 ]
Why did you even name the rocks

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [49 ]
What do some of the insterments do?

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [50 ]
How are the pictures sent back to earth? Is it all digital and satellites?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [51 ]
team2, the Pathfinder lander when the petals are folded up into the shape of a tetrahedron is a little over a meter tall. With the petals open it is about 12 feet across and about 1 meter high.

Felix: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [52 ]
How long did it take to get all the equipment ready

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [53 ]
Did you find any water or plants?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:21AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [54 ]
I'm Manny Realivasquez from Carpentersville Middle School. How long did it take you to make the craft that went to Mars?

Barrett: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:21AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [55 ]
what is it like working for nasa

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:21AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [56 ]
How many errors did the rover have?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [57 ]
Is there anything you found out that we didn't think of before

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [58 ]
Dawn, Pathfinder (now called the Carl Sagan Memorial) and Sojourner will remain on the surface of Mars until someone (maybe you) can go and get it and bring it back!

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [59 ]
What type of skill did you need to make the pathfinder?

Rusty: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [60 ]
How did you get to be a NASA engineer

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [61 ]
What was the cost of the mission ?

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:23AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [62 ]
Shannon would like to know: From your perspective, is it a good idea to stay with Mir?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:23AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [63 ]
Paul, I think every has been fascinated by our neighborhood planets. Mars especially. It is the most Earth-like of all of the planets.

John: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:23AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [64 ]
How long did it take to build the Pathfinder

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [65 ]
When will the next mission be and do you expect to find life on Mars?

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [66 ]
Has the Rover found any volcanoes on Mars?

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [67 ]
Are you making a new project?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [68 ]
EVERYONE: HOLD ON TO YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES to let Rob catch up. He is trying to answer everyone! thanks :-)

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [69 ]
My name is jay badgley Im from carpentersvile middle school. My question is how does it feel to be in charge of the pathfinder orbiting mars.

Felicia: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [70 ]
Is it hard to build things that go into outer space

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [71 ]
Why did you choose do this job in the first place

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [72 ]
Hello, my name is Lyndon. What do you want to do when you retire from NASA?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [73 ]
Rugrats, if I built Pathfinder over again, I would only change it to make it able to go to even more interesting places on Mars like Hebes, Olympus Mons, Vallis Marinaris... thrusters maybe?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [74 ]
Tony would like to know the chances of becoming an astronaut.

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:26AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [75 ]
I know that the lunar surface has the elements helium 3 and silicon dioxide. Can you tell us about the elements found on the martian surface?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [76 ]
Hello, my name is Bobbi. How many planets has the pathfinder traveled to?

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [77 ]
Would you weigh more on mars than here on EARTH?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [78 ]
Mustang, Pathfinder's top speed during entry was about 17 thousand miles per hour. I think you are refering to Mars Global Surveyor when you ask about orbital speed (once every few days at the moment).

Jeff: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [79 ]
Can humans breathe on MARS?

Felicia: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [80 ]
Is it hard to build things that go into outer space

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:28AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [81 ]
What kind of information did you find from the pathfinder that you didnt know before?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:28AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [82 ]
Phylicia, if Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) really did aerobrake to the point that it slowed down and fell into the atmosphere, it would not be able to land. It would crash! It was not meant to land!

James: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [83 ]
Do you hope that we can send people to Mars one day?

joey: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [84 ]
how solid is the surface on mars

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [85 ]
Tony again, what was the thing that you focused on the most while building Pathfinder? Strength, speed, manuverability, weight, size, shape, or what else?

Anna: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [86 ]
Is it hard to be a engineer and build things for space

Anna: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [87 ]
Is it hard to be a engineer and build things for space

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [88 ]
If I don't want to be an astronaut what is another job that I could do involving space?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [89 ]
Whatare some of the things you do in youre free time?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [90 ]
Dawn, I can't say for sure whether human exploreation would be more cost effect than robotic exploration, but humans can do some things much better and fast. A human could have done what Sojourner has done (so far) in about 2 days!

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [91 ]
Rob, What was the most satisfing moment durring the mission for you?

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [92 ]
How many days,weeks, months, or years did it take to find Mars?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [93 ]
How many test phases did you go through before the pathfinder was ready to be sent to mars?

bubba fett: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [94 ]
Would you like to live on Mars if we could?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [95 ]
Rugrats: To find out more about the instruments on Pathfinder, go to Pathfinder's home page at: button Here you will find detailed explanations.

Anna: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [96 ]
Is it hard to be a engineer and build things for space

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [97 ]
Omar- Was it hard to be an astronaut?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [98 ]
Omar- Was it hard to be an astronaut?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [99 ]
Forrestwood, yes, images are sent back from Pathfinder directly back to Earth digitally. The pictures are digitally compressed in the same way as the pictures you get off of the web.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [100 ]
Hello my name is Dylan. Has anyone ever been hurt in a space shuttle?

Anna: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [101 ]
Is it hard to be a engineer and build things for space

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [102 ]
Omar- What is youre favorite thing to do in space?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [103 ]
Felix, it took us about 3 and a half years to do the detailed design fabrication assembly and test before we launched it last Dec. 4 from the Cape.

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [104 ]
What is the tempature on the surface of mars?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [105 ]
Will the new shuttle taking the astronaught to mars use the new rocket engine I've heard about in the news???

bubba: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [106 ]
Hey,you better listen to us.Did you know that you're dealing with SES?!

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [107 ]
what special kind of tools do you use? what are they called?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [108 ]
This is Christina. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an astrounaut.

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [109 ]
Chris asks: what materials is Pathfinder made from?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [110 ]
Rusty: For more information about Rob, please read his bio at: button Click on "Rob Manning."

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [111 ]
Omar: Rob is NOT an astronaut. Please read his bio at: button Click on "Rob Manning."

bubba: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [112 ]
Do you even like talking to us?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [113 ]
Barrett, not all NASA jobs are as fun as mine has been. But building things that no one has done before is very special and exciting.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [114 ]
This is Allen. What kind of technology is used in the pathfinder?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [115 ]
What types of tests are the pathfinder performing?

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [116 ]
How long will the Pathfinder send information back to us from Mars?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [117 ]
Bubba: Rob is working very hard and typing very fast to answer everybody's questions! Even yours :-)

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [118 ]
Panther, Sojourner rover actually has never made an error - we (humans) have! The errors that you are talking about are the cases where the rover refuses to continue on a traverse because the conditions have exceeded some limit (e.g. tilt). This has happened about 20 times.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [119 ]
Are there any things you don't like about your job, and why

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [120 ]
How long did it take you to build the pathfinder.

bubba: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [121 ]
What are you doing with the pathfinder now?from joey

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:38AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [122 ]
Who decieded to launch the Pathfinder

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:39AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [123 ]
team2, the mission including the rover, lander, operations, Delta II rocket, scientists, etc (everything) was about $250 million. Pathfinder itself cost about $172 million.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:39AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [124 ]
Hello this is Ashley from Kentucky. How long does it take the Pathfinder to travel from Earth to Mars? Please answer my question.

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:39AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [125 ]
What do you think the shadow was that flew over the pathfinder explorer?

Brett: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:39AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [126 ]
How fast is it going now?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool : . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:39AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [128 ]
What type of shielding was put it on the outside of the pathfinder to help it enter the martian surface.

joey: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:40AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [129 ]
Hi my name is joey and i love space

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:40AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [130 ]
Manny Realivasquez What were some of the problems you had to overcome?

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [131 ]
What is Ares Vallis?

Andrea/Ames: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [132 ]
Hi Sandy

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [133 ]
Since when were you intrested in becoming an engineer, and how did you get intrested?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [134 ]
Bobbi: Pathfinder is only traveling to Mars. To find out more about the Pathfinder check out its Web site at: button

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [135 ]
Hi Mustangs! The next mission to Mars (not including the newly arrived MGS orbiter) will be in a little under 2 years from now ('98) will be a tiny lander and another orbiter. The lander will be landing near the south pole of Mars. If life ever existed on Mars, I think there is a good chace I will find out before I retire ;)

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:43AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [139 ]
How long will the rover drive around without running out of power?

Mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:43AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [140 ]
Will you make another mission?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:44AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [141 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:44AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [142 ]
good bye

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:44AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [143 ]
How long do you think it will take to complete this mission?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:44AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [144 ]
manny realivasquez what were you doing before the project

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:44AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [145 ]
Hi Panthers. No the rover does not have the ability to find volcanoes (it can only travel a short distance). It did however detect (smell) rocks that have probable volcanic origins (probably several billions of years ago). We know that volcnos once existed on Mars from Viking missions 20 years ago.

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [146 ]
Did you ever lose track of the Pathfinder?

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [147 ]
Is the scacecraft programed to land in a specific way?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [148 ]
Lyndon, I have many more years to go before I retire from JPL and NASA! I have no idea what I will do then.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [149 ]
THIS Jay how did your colleagues react when you built thepathfinder.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [150 ]
My name is Crystal I asked question 88

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [151 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [152 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [153 ]
How much do you get paid?

Paul: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [154 ]
How long did the landing procedure take to land the Pathfinder

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [155 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else?

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [156 ]
What is the mars temperature?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [157 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [158 ]
TO WHOEVER WROTE "If I don't want to be an astronaut what is another job that I could do involving space? ", PLEASE GO TO: button and read about all of the the other job possibilities!

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [159 ]
Thank you for spending time with us, Rob. We understand you were not able to answer all the questions... Thanks anyway.

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [160 ]
Rob, I know you're bogged down with questions, but if you can't answer us, could you e-mail us please?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [161 ]
How much longer will the pathfinder and sojourner function?

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [162 ]
If the sojourner were to flip upside down, what would you do to turn it right side up?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [163 ]
Tony here... what did you focus on the most; size, shape, weight, speed, manuverability, strength, or anything else? Pleas, Please, answer my question!!!

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [164 ]
Felicia and Anna, yes it can be quite hard to build things to go into outerspace. The biggest problem is that spacecraft need extra protection (or durability) against the severe radiation environment of space. For example the computer we used on Pathfinder had to be specially made to survive the extra radiation (we are protected from that radiation by Earth's atmosphere.

Team2: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [165 ]
How did you get so intrested in space?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [166 ]
Crystal Graber...How long did it take to fully build the pathfinder and when did the idea first come about?

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [167 ]
How long did it take to make the pathfinder

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [169 ]
Bubba, no I would not like to live on Mars. a) it's too cold, b) to dry, c) to lonely, d) everything turns a rusty red from the dust!

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [170 ]
Ashley, Pathfinder took 7 months to get to Mars from Earth. That is considered to be very fast be most standards!

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [172 ]
Omar- Do you believe that life exists in Mars?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [173 ]
What type of shielding was used to prevent the pathfinder from catching fire during entry to the Martian atmoshpere?

Panther: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [174 ]
On the question on volcanos,has the Rover found any rocks that could tell how old they are?

Rugrats: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [175 ]
How big was the rover in cinimeaters?

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [176 ]
team2, Pathfinder will continue to send pictures and data back to Earth until it either dies or runs out of funding (next year we run out of money to operate it).

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [177 ]
Mr.Manning this is Bobbi again I would like to know how much the path-finder costed and who paid the expenses?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [179 ]
Crystal Graber.I would like to be a person that designs thing that go into space such as the astronauts siuts, food, and things that they use up there. is that the same as an engineer if not what would it be called?

SES: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [180 ]
Is the Sojourner still functioning?

Andrea/Ames: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [181 ]
Crystal -- See the archive of the chat with Bernadette Luna - button

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [182 ]
Tony, good question! In the design of Pathfinder, weight and volume were the two biggest and toughest problem. The Delta rocket could only push so much mass to Mars and the rocket fairing size limited our volume. Power and thermal was the next toughest.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [183 ]
Dear Rob we know that you have many questions,but if you have time to answer our questions plase do my e-mail is Lushine@aol.com, Thank you.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [184 ]
What does JPL stand for?

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [185 ]
I would like to know more about my question(179)so if you have time could you please E-mailme about it Crystal Graber.

: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [186 ]
Answer question 178, please... What was focused on the most???

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:55AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [187 ]
Crystal, to do the kins of things you mention really means becoming an expert in those areas. Since these areas require you to engineer solutions, that would make you an engineer! (You will LOVE it! Do it!)

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:55AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [188 ]
What was the biggest problem you had to overcome while working on the Mars Pathfinder flight system?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [189 ]
To whoever wrote: "What does JPL stand for?" It means: Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Alex: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [190 ]
how big was the surveyor?

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [191 ]
Our e-mail address is: lsboe@monmouth.com

mustangs: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [192 ]
If you can't answer our questions please send us e-mail @ dhenson@dsigw.gmu.edu. thanks mr. manning.

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [193 ]
EVERYONE: Unfortunately Rob is far too busy to answer the questions that didn't get answered today, via email, personally to you. However, there is a way that you can submit Mars-related questions that will be answered by members of the Mars team. go to: button and click on the "Question Mark" icon and follow the directions.

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [194 ]
Rugrats, I think you mean Sojourner rover .. if Sojourner tipped over there is no way to upright it. Soooooo what we had to do was to make sure that it was nearly impossible for it to do so. That's why it has all of these wheel position sensors and accelerometers to warn it of impending doom! It prevents it !

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [195 ]
Everyone: It's time to say goodbye to Rob and get ready for our next chat with Bridget Landry, also from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which will begin in about five minutes. Thank you to everyone for your great questions and a very special thank you to Rob for taking the time to be with us today!

James: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:59AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [196 ]
Thanks for all you've done!

Forestwood: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 9:59AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [197 ]
Thanks!

Dawn/MarkhamPlaceSchool: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 10:00AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [198 ]
Bye Rob

Rob Manning: . . . . Tue, Sep 30, 10:00AM PDT (-0700 GMT). . . [199 ]
Thank you all VERY much for being so interested in Mars Pathfinder. All of us on my team have been really amazed at the public interest in this mission. It is very inspiring for us! Thank you !