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Matt Wallace
Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) Manager
Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

"ATLO Day 1, March 1 2001"

My name is Matt Wallace and I'm the "ATLO" manager, and ATLO is assembly, test, and launch operations. "ATLO" is where it all comes together - all the subsystems deliver their hardware into ATLO so we can integrate it and test it and get it ready to ship down to the Cape and get it launched. So it's a pretty big deal. We can't really do without ATLO.

P2K: It's week one of ATLO-how's it going?

Matt Wallace:It's going a little slower than we expected. We've been waiting still on a few key pieces of hardware. It's just an enormous challenge of schedule. The subsystem development and build schedule is tremendously aggressive and these guys have done an outstanding job, but they're just finishing up a few of their last tests and we're expecting them to be coming down to ATLO with some of the hardware in the next few days. So we're still waiting for some of it.

It's a big deal to get it started, absolutely. And depending on who you talk to there's a lot of different opinions about what should qualify as the start of ATLO. But generally it's a big deal; it's a major milestone in a program. And we're either, depending on how you want to define it, we've either just kind of started the initial stages of ATLO, or we're just about to start it, and it's a major milestone for us.

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