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
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
P2K: What prepared you for this at school or at home, or what made you say that this is the kind of thing that you would like to end up doing? Did you think this was the kind of thing you were going to be doing when you went through college or through high school?
Stacy Weinstein: When I was a little girl my father sat me in front of the TV and said watch this, you are going to remember this some day. And it was the Apollo mission that eventually landed men on the Moon. I didn't get to see the landing, but I did get to see the launch. I was hooked on space since then and I've had other ambitions and things I kind of wanted to do, but I keep coming back to space no matter what I do. So when I was in fifth grade I was writing little creative stories about being a rocket designer and stuff like that and so I just always knew that someday - hoped someday - that I'd be doing stuff like this.
P2K: Does everything have to work perfectly for the mission to work?
Stacy Weinstein: Not everything has to work perfectly for the mission to work and return good data, but there are a couple of things that are "critical path", that if they don't work we get nothing. For instance, if the airbags didn't work chances are we're not going to get anything. If the bridle doesn't deploy well, chances are we're not going to get anything. If the RAD motors don't fire chances are we're not going to get anything. There are other things that can be "graceful degradations", for instance an instrument slightly out of calibration, and maybe we can figure that out on the ground. Things like that that we can deal with over the long period once the rover's on the surface.