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

P2K: Do you have enough time, and budget, and testing days to do all the tests you want to do?

Tom Rivellini: You know, the Mars Exploration Rovers mission has a little bit different philosophy from a risk standpoint, from what Pathfinder did. In Pathfinder we were very wiling to take risk. It was sort of told to us, "Thou Shalt Take Risk" to make this mission happen. The Mars Exploration Rovers mission is a little bit different, there is a lot more at stake here. We are coming off the two failures of a couple of missions, and so the risk posture is not quite as liberal as it was in Pathfinder, so the notion of wanting to do more tests, and having enough time to do more tests, I think we are always going to want to do more tests on the mission. Because the more you test the more risk you can eliminate. You will never be able to eliminate risk completely with testing. But the more testing the better from a risk standpoint, so we're always going to want to test.

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