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
Entry, Descent and Landing Operations Manager Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
On December 14, 2001, P2K spoke with Rob about what was so special about Pathfinder, and what might be different between that mission and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission.
P2K: What do you think made "Pathfinder" so successful???
Rob Manning: Well, with the years, I think the biggest thing that made Pathfinder a success was not just the surreal reaction of landing on Mars and feeling what it feels like to see and explore another planet - which is, you know, heaven for those of us in this business... it's... there's nothing like having your eyes and ears 250 million miles away, it's an indescribable experience. But I think that part of the success was the demonstration that groups of people can get together as effectively and as efficiently as they can and do something that's patently risky, and actually succeed. Now, it doesn't always work. But when it does work it is really wonderful, and it's a wonderful message to a lot of people about taking risks. And I think that's the exciting thing.