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
Michael H. Sims
Center for Mars Exploration
NASA Ames Research Center
I'm a MER science co-investigator with a background in robotics and artificial intelligence. For MER I play many different roles which I anticipate will show up from time to time in my Journal.
A couple of personal comments:
When away from the operations area I find I really miss being there. I'm away at the moment with the intention of eating, sleeping, bathing and all that, and I find myself being drawn to quickly rush back. I want to know what new data we gotten, any new status of the rover and to get back and contribute. Today I won't go back over for a few hours because I know I'll be best tonight if I eat a regular meal now and take a nap closer to my regular shift time. Last night I could definitely feel the effects of fatigue. It's a natural part of the rush we are in and the long hours. The project has taken a great deal of care to manage the team's fatigue. I wear an Actiwatch accelerometer that keeps track of my sleep cycles. It would have probably been useful to have keep track of heart rates and adrenaline during the first few Sols!
For many individuals the exploration of space and the scientific investigation of outer space are in support of their careers and who they are. For me that equation is turned around. I see myself and my career as tools to be used in our exploration of space. I want to use that tool (i.e., “Michael Sims”) as effectively as I can. If I am used up or broken in the process and that betters the goal of our exploration of space then that's great. I'm all about humans exploring and living beyond Earth. The Mars Exploration Rovers and other robotic missions are part of that exploration and steps on our journey. I have a strong sense of humility in working with the MER team and pride to be a part of this. To me it is such an honor to be one of the keepers of the dream.