#1
Hello there, my illustrious fellow UG'ers...

As my profile so accurately portrays, I work at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. I work (for some of my time) with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project -- you know, Spirit and Opportunity. Launched in 2003 and landing in 2004, MER has been in the spotlight at JPL and NASA ever since. I am supremely lucky to be able to work for this program at the ripe age of 24.

Although the Spirit rover trapped itself in dirt and was unable to survive the last Martian winter, Opportunity ("Oppy") is still rolling along and as strong as ever -- not bad for a rover that was supposed to last only 90 Martian days. 2 years ago, Oppy left the Victoria Crater for its next target: Endeavour Crater -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endeavour_(crater)

I joined the MER program almost exactly a year ago. As we get closer and closer to "landfall" at Endeavour, I approached the MER project and JPL pubic relations folks with an idea: to blog about it. There is only one other blog by a MER team member currently active, and it is 5 years belated. I was quickly green-lit and I have created the blog at...

opportunityendeavour.blogspot.com

Scott Maxwell, lead Rover Planner and one of the many spiritual leaders of the MER project, has tweeted about my blog; he was also the person who gave me the most advice on starting this blog. If you even recognize his name, click! Click that link! Click it now!

Please also check out:

marsandme.blogspot.com
roadtoendeavour.wordpress.com

If you find any of this remotely interesting, please please please please please check it out. I am only two posts deep but hav e received nearly 1000 hits in just 24 hours (since the first post last night).

Spread the word! Oppy is getting closer to Endeavour! It's gonna be cool! It will be going on for many months, as the Endeavour campaign will last as least as long.

This is some shameless pandering, but it's something I know at least some of you will be excited about. Let me know what you think!

-red
Looking for my India/Django.
#3
You work at the Jet Propulsion Lab....do your employers know you're goofing off with non-jet propulsed vehicles?....
Quote by RU Experienced?
Now with 20 percent more Allah!!!

Quote by Borsworth
^^^


Quote by GoldenRose94

that'd be slightly creepy if i didn't find it so amusing.
#4
Quote by abdulalhazred
You work at the Jet Propulsion Lab....do your employers know you're goofing off with non-jet propulsed vehicles?....

No. Nobody told them.
Looking for my India/Django.
#5
Quote by redwing_suck
No. Nobody told them.


Suckers!
My God, it's full of stars!
#7
Are there plans to make faster rovers so they cover more land before they break down/ so you can hold the first interplanetary racing?
Quote by RU Experienced?
Now with 20 percent more Allah!!!

Quote by Borsworth
^^^


Quote by GoldenRose94

that'd be slightly creepy if i didn't find it so amusing.
#8
Quote by abdulalhazred
Are there plans to make faster rovers so they cover more land before they break down/ so you can hold the first interplanetary racing?

The Mars Science Lab -- launching this November.

It will be faster. However, due to other constraints, it won't be able to cover much more ground per day than Oppy or Spirit. The science coming out of it, however, will be top-notch.
Looking for my India/Django.
#9
What's the protocol if you find aliens? Would you be allowed to tell us?
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ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#10
Quote by ErikLensherr
What's the protocol if you find aliens? Would you be allowed to tell us?

No.
Looking for my India/Django.
#11
Thats sick! Thats basically my dream job, except I don't have the grades for it. Really interesting stuff though!
#12
nice, my friend's dad works at JPL. ive taken a tour, its a nice place.
Quote by Marshmelllow
graphs. graphs always work. my old work place had an awesome printer, so i was constantly making graphs.

that was until i made a graph of how much my boss pissed me off. but seriously dude, graphs.
#13
As a space nut since I was a wee lad, and even though you yourself have only worked on this project for a year, I cannot express how deeply and genuinely grateful and thankful I am for the work you're doing.

I find it very disheartening how the interest in space/space exploration is dying out over the last few years. It's always been a dream of mine to work with or for NASA in some capacity. (As a little aside, I'm majoring in Engineering Physics in the hopes that one day I can help create space vehicles and the like.)

The fact that I've been able to keep up with these rovers, from their launch from Earth to Spirit's unfortunate demise and to Oppurtunity's impending triumphs, has made me feel an emotional connection to them (as childish and weird as that sounds...). I was extremely saddened when Spirit had to shut-down. It felt like I was losing an old friend...

I don't know, I guess I'm just happy and emotional that we have people like you who help make these things possible. I can't wait for the day that humans set foot on Mars to reclaim Spirit and give her the proper recognition she deserves.

Thanks for everything, and I will read the shit out of your blog.

#14
Hi redwing_suck. I am currently a junior at CU =D
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#15
Quote by Carnivean
Hi redwing_suck. I am currently a junior at CU =D

f'in A
Looking for my India/Django.
#16
Quote by jumi1174
As a space nut since I was a wee lad, and even though you yourself have only worked on this project for a year, I cannot express how deeply and genuinely grateful and thankful I am for the work you're doing.

I find it very disheartening how the interest in space/space exploration is dying out over the last few years. It's always been a dream of mine to work with or for NASA in some capacity. (As a little aside, I'm majoring in Engineering Physics in the hopes that one day I can help create space vehicles and the like.)

The fact that I've been able to keep up with these rovers, from their launch from Earth to Spirit's unfortunate demise and to Oppurtunity's impending triumphs, has made me feel an emotional connection to them (as childish and weird as that sounds...). I was extremely saddened when Spirit had to shut-down. It felt like I was losing an old friend...

I don't know, I guess I'm just happy and emotional that we have people like you who help make these things possible. I can't wait for the day that humans set foot on Mars to reclaim Spirit and give her the proper recognition she deserves.

Thanks for everything, and I will read the shit out of your blog.


Yeah, thanks. Think about it: If we wipe ourselves out, and millions of years later some aliens stop by Mars, they'll find... robots. They'll be a little dusty, but still there. Nothing decomposed. Just metal on a red planet. Think about what those aliens will think.
Looking for my India/Django.
#17
redwing_suck. I'm going down to pearl street to hit some bars with some buddies. come on out and live a little on a saturday night!
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#18
Just kidding... that'd be weird if you actually came. I just get too excited when I meet someone else from Boulder on UG
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#19
Quote by Carnivean
Just kidding... that'd be weird if you actually came. I just get too excited when I meet someone else from Boulder on UG
Lol. Well. I'm 1000 miles away.
Looking for my India/Django.
#20
Quote by redwing_suck
Lol. Well. I'm 1000 miles away.


Wait wait... you must be on Mars huh
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard