Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Science Themes

I didn't get to upload a couple of entries last week - they're now posted below by date.

This week I have my first shift as a science theme group lead. The operations of this mission were carefully structured by Steve and his management along science lines where the team thinks of the rovers as integrated instrument packages. That may sound mundane, but in the world of missions, frequently instrument teams find themselves pitted against each other for time and power resources. The science-based approach has worked well on this mission and encourages us all to work together toward our common goals of exploration and discovery.

The science groups are centered around geology, mineralogy & geochemistry, atmospheres, and physical properties. Scientists from each group are responsible for ensuring that activities get planned that support these areas of Martian science. My interests are mainly in geochemistry and mineralogy, so I am in that science group, and this week I am the lead advocate for the group. In practice, this isn't a lot more time than I'd normally put into looking through the data and taking an interest in what's coming up, but there are a couple of systematic observations I'm responsible for suggesting, and of course, I'm a little nervous about not making a fool of myself :)

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