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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.

LIVE FROM MARS: lfm

Geoff Briggs
Scientific Director of NASA's Center for Mars Exploration
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

What I Do

I work for the Mars Pathfinder project. This is an unmanned spacecraft that will be launched December 2, 1996 and will land July 4, 1997. It contains a camera to survey the landing site, a weather station to record temperatures and atmospheric pressures, and a rover. The rover is a small remote-controlled vehicle that will drive around and analyze rocks and soil.

My job as test director involves leading a team that tests the spacecraft to make sure everything works. The first step is to learn what the spacecraft can do and what the scientists and engineers want it to do. This is a little easier for me because I was one of the engineers who helped design it. In order to make sure everything gets tested, I have made a list of every function the spacecraft performs. I then take these functions and allocate them to specific tests.

The second step is to write test procedures. These procedures contain the steps necessary to make the spacecraft perform a certain activity and the things we need to look for in order to make sure it is performing correctly.

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