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Any opinions, 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

John W. Wirth
ATLO electrical lead
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

P2K: How do you get the people to work together as well the equipment?

John Wirth: "Brute force." (Ed. A joke!) No, weíve been really lucky for the whole team, everybody on the Mars Exploration Rovers mission - Matt Wallace obviously being the best guy because heís the ATLO manager, and not a plug just because heís my boss, but really because heís a great guy. He put together a great team. I mean everybody heís picked is cream of the crop, and everybody that works for me is cream of the crop, and everybody I work with is cream of the crop, so we do it just because we have a great team, and great people, and a great leader.

P2K: When youíre selecting somebody for the team, what are you looking for?

John Wirth: Working in ATLO you have to be able to react. Some people have a mindset that they need a procedure four months in advance, and they go over it 15 or 20 times, and when the stuff actually comes, they go "A" to "B" in a sequence. The people that work with me are all people that can (handle), "itís gonna change." No matter how much planning you do years in advance, and how many cables you expect youíre going to use, and how many certain configurations youíre going to use, in all the different pieces youíre going to integrate, itís not going to happen the way you planned. Just from experience I can tell you that. So the type of person you need down here is somebody that can react. You find out that you have a problem, or, hey this isnít what you were planning to do because you had this piece that you didnít even think about, so all of a sudden youíve got to react, build some cables quickly, or define some different configurations and then go forward. So itís about people that can react quickly, and can think quickly, and thatís what this teamís got.

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