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To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers

Tomasso Rivellini
Airbag Design Consultant, and Engineer
Landing system designer, for the Mobile Science Laboratory (Mars 2009)
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

P2K: When we met you at Plum Brook, you were a consultant, but now you're back on the Mars Exploration Rovers mission full-time?

Tom Rivellini: Yeah, back in October I was still working on what was at that point called the "07 Mars Smart Lander" mission, and that was great. We were developing the next generation landing system, for a large scale rover, something the size of a Volkswagen bus. But, that mission got pushed out into '09, and the work force that was working on that pretty quickly got absorbed into the Mars Exploration Rovers mission workforce. And, you know, I was unemployed, so to speak, for about half an hour (chuckles), and I was already on the Mars Exploration Rovers mission team. So it's just been great. It's sort of like going from being a reservist in the military to being thrown into the frontlines, and having to start fighting right away. And, you know, it's fun, that's what we're here to do.

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