Archive for January, 2010

Spirit. Your quest, our quest.

How can words fail you and emotion take over when you speak about a machine?
How can metal and wires give you a knot on your throat, make your eyes go teary and your heart to squeeze?
You become part of my life, everyday during these last 6 years, during its ups and downs, there you were, there we were, side by side in our hardships and glories, entangled in our far apart existences, I, from here, enticing you to go Onward! Always Onward…only to find myself amazed by listening to you, from the cold, harsh distance of Mars, whispering to me that everything is possible. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

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Behind the scenes @ Cassini – A guided tour with Sarah Milkovich

I have a multiplanetary working life.  It’s gotten rather complicated.

Half of my time, I am a science planning engineer on Cassini, and the other half of my time I am the Investigation Scientist for the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  (Sometimes it seems like the hardest part of operating spacecraft is getting the work done in between all the meetings.)

Today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about some of my work for Cassini.  I hope you’ve been following along with us last year as we observed the Saturn equinox (check out all our great images on the Astronomy Photo of the Day archives!) and had some fabulous moon flybys.

Cassini is a hugely complicated spacecraft to operate, and there are a large number of people who work behind the scenes to get the stunning data that you see online.  I want to give you a taste of the amount of effort, and the many decisions, that get made by a lot of people who you rarely ever hear about in the press releases.

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