findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
ATLO Systems Lead Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(ATLO: Assembly, Test and Launch Operations.)
P2K: "What is the personality of the rovers?"
Art Thompson: "So far she's been hesitant to make an appearance. We're hoping that when she gets here she'll be very outgoing and very easy to get along with. But I'm sure she'll have her stubborn portions that we'll have to work through to."
On why Art personally likes about working on such complicated things
This is my fourth time down this path, the flight path. I just really enjoy taking what has been put together, but which isn't necessarily functional yet, and making it work together as a system. And then seeing it actually launch and get off to another planet is amazing.
Thinking back on Mars Pathfinder - I was part of the Sojourner team - and coming to work every morning, and looking at the pictures of a sunrise on Mars and saying, we're on another planet, and here we are driving an RC (remote control) vehicle, I mean think of it - how many people get paid well to come to work and drive RC vehicles in really exotic places? We just get to have maybe the most fun you can have doing stuff like that.