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To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
ATLO Logistics Manager Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Hard work at the Cape
We try our darndest at JPL to test every possible sequence and every possible configuration that we're going to be subjected to down here. Sometimes that's impossible to do, with part of the reason being that sometimes the software's not quite ready to actually have the spacecraft configured to the proper modes to do thorough testing. So when you come down to Kennedy you can always expect to find one or two problems. And with the planetary program, we know that we have - those lines aren't drawn in sand, they're drawn in cement, and we have those dates that we have to launch by, or it's a matter of packing up, going home, and hopefully doing it a couple of years from now.
Coming down here people realize the importance of getting this thing working. That's the reason guys have been working two shifts a day, seven days a week, since we have gotten here. The two shifts, of course, are from, like, seven-thirty 'til midnight.
It's quite a process when we come down from Pasadena. There's a lot of disassembly that's taken place in Pasadena and we, in turn, have to reassemble everything once we arrive at Kennedy. And one of the main important things we have to do is verify that all these functions that have been de-mated, connectors, what have you, and once they're re-mated that they're all performing properly. A problem that we just had recently was due to the fact that they did a lot of re-verification on some rework that had been done and they missed one small item, and this happened to be the fuse problem we had. As I say, we try our best to do everything a hundred percent, but sometimes these things slip by you. We have a term for that, I'm sure you're going to beep this out, but they're called "Oh, s***s."