Spirit Sol 99

Today something registers on me for the first time -- something that's been there since we switched back to Earth time, but I only just noticed. I'm sitting in the downlink assessment meeting and ... the shades are up. As part of our fatigue countermeasures, we've had blackout shades on all three floors since sol 1. We don't need them any more. I don't like Earth time, but I do like this.

I'm not scheduled to work today, but I'm here to shadow John, so I can learn all about being an RP-2. I'll be getting lots of practice: on our Earth-time schedule, the afternoon person is RP-2 something like four weeks out of every five. Speaking of afternoon and morning people, I also somehow get stuck making out a tentative replacement schedule for the Spirit rover planners -- we're all here, so at least I can get everyone to sign up to it without the multi-day delays of email. ("I want to be an afternoon-only person, as long as I get to be RP-1 a fair share of the time," I tell Ashitey. "Meanwhile, he got to be RP-1 all through the primary mission ..." John says. "That's right," I reply, smiling as I look John dead in the eye, "and all I want from here on out is my fair share.")

Ashitey, who apparently is going to become a rover planner for Opportunity, is also hanging out with us to learn the job. Ashitey's been involved in the mission since before it started -- back during the field trials for FIDO, the rover that evolved into the MER rovers -- and has been a Mobility/IDD person for MER, so he knows the rovers well. He's also spent a lot of time practicing building IDD sequences, though he's still getting the hang of it, and he hasn't done much driving at all. So he's getting a crash course, if that's the right term.

I thought I had the coolest T-shirt in the world -- my "Rover Driver" shirt. But one of the scientists, Nicole, shakes my confidence with her T-shirt: it's the special Google logo they had the day Spirit egressed, the one that shows Spirit driving down off of the Google logo while two blue-green aliens look on. Apparently, they gave them away at some meeting that happened to be held when the uplink team was asleep. And there are no more to be had. Damn it![1]

Courtesy Google. Damn it!


[1] I would kill and eat my own grandmother for one of those T-shirts. However, I'm pretty sure that's not how you get them. I wouldn't want to do a thing like that unless it had a pretty reasonable chance of working.


Emily Lakdawalla said...

I hope you won't hate me forever if I tell you that I was at that meeting and wound up with one of the shirts. I wouldn't have presumed to take one, but there was almost no one in the room who was willing to take a size small, so I stepped up and begged one...I will admit it's one of my favorites! I wear it more often than I might, because my husband thinks it's ridiculously geeky.

Scott Maxwell said...

@Emily Lakdawalla Hate you? Never. Envy you? Hell, yes!