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Tom Shain
ATLO Logistics Manager
Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Another thing I like to say about JPL - as I say I've been there going on forty-two years - JPL has a great reputation for being a very, very smart bunch of people and a smart organization. We haven't always gotten that way just by being smart. We've gotten that way a lot of times by being pretty d*** stupid and from being stupid we've learned a lot of good lessons. That's made us one h*** of a lot smarter.

And I'm sure it's going to continue to be that way. With the complications and complexity of this hardware that we have, and we're testing and trying to launch, it takes one heck of a team of a lot of smart people to make sure all this stuff is performing properly.

Getting the rovers from Pasadena to Cape Canaveral: the convoy
I've always considered the first part of the trip to Mars is the twenty-six hundred road trip from JPL to Kennedy Space Center that we made three of this January, February, and March timeframe. These trips are quite interesting. We have the full responsibility to the project to get that hardware there safely, and, when I do the trips if I get four or five hours of sleep for the total three days I feel fortunate. It's very tiring, trying, and one heck of a lot of pressure. A lot of coordination goes into it to pull these trips off, not just at JPL with our security people, but working with the various states, getting permits. We do have wide loads on these trips that requires Wide Load Escort Vehicles, special consideration by the states to allow us to travel around the clock, which I prefer to do because the sooner we get here the better off we are. I think when we stop along the highway and the more time we're stopped the more problems we can have or encounter. So we like to "truck on," keep trucking.

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