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10 July 2012

MSL Landing Dress Rehearsal

Now that I have moved out to Flagstaff and am starting to get settled in, it’s time to leave! I’m headed to JPL this week for the final Operational Readiness Test (ORT) before MSL lands. This test will be a “dress rehearsal” of events as they are expected to occur when Curiosity lands on August 5, and for the following 2 sols. We will even be working on Mars time …

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23 April 2012

The Joys of Fake Geology

Well, I survived Operational Readiness Test 8 (ORT)! Prior to this week, my only experience with rover operations was as payload downlink lead (PDL) for the color cameras on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). I joined MER well into the extended mission, when all of the bugs had been worked out and the planning process was very efficient and streamlined. My day as a Pancam PDL is pretty easy: take …

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