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

Work hard, play hard
We have a lot of fun. You have to. If you didn't joke around and kid around. Usually, in the motor home (Tom's command van for the convoy) it can get pretty crowded: we can have five or six people in a motor home, and there's usually not a heck of a lot of room for people to kick back and sleep. There's always somebody comes along with you that's one h*** of a good sleeper and it makes people like myself and Jim Lloyd, the guy that works with me on this - he and I are terrible sleepers - so we're quite envious of some of these guys getting six and seven hours sleep at a time, whereas we feel fortunate if we get a half hour of sleep. On these trips, normally we stop only for fuel and food, and we do both of those at the same time.

Engineers and truckers, truckers and engineers
We will stop usually halfway across the country and some of the nice truck stops there, some of them are really wonderful, and we'll do a shower and clean up and change clothes. Those are sort of interesting. It costs you a dollar and they'll give you a small bar of soap, and a little paper placemat for your feet, give you a towel about fifteen inches by twelve inches to dry off with: they're quite an experience... these truck stops. I could never be a trucker, but it is fun.

The excitement of it, having everything together, working with the states, working with the truck drivers. Normally when we do these convoys I've always specified the particular truck drivers that I would like to haul the flight hardware, and some of these guys I've dealt with on several convoys and we've been fortunate enough to get them back again.

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