Monday, June 20, 2011

The Sudbury Lunar Analogue Mission Wraps Up

The ROC-6 Rover plays tourist after a successful mission exploring the Sudbury Impact Structure. The rover is shown in front of the Giant Nickel in this photo from the Mission's Anablog.

I'm on the train back to Toronto from Mission Control for SLAM (the Sudbury Lunar Analogue Mission) and I have to say: it has been a stressful, yet rewarding, couple of weeks. In some ways I am reminded of how I felt following last year's DPS conference (as I expressed in a New Year's Eve Post). Certainly, I now feel more a part of the CPSX community than I did before. But what it really feels like is Phoenix Redux. Sure, it was only two weeks - with no Mars Time issues - but all the intensity was there. Now that it's over, I am a tad bit sad, but at the same time, I am proud of what we accomplished.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Let's go on a Mars Cruise!

A photograph of  the residential cruise ship "The World," docked in Melbourne as captured by wikipedia user VirtualSteve. Is this a good home for Mars Mission Control?

In the run up to this year's analogue space mission deployments at UWO, I'm reliving the good old days of 2008 vicariously through Andrew Kessler's account of the Phoenix Mission. In his book "Martian Summer," Kessler captures in plain language the energy as well as the highs and lows of working at Mission Control for a Martian Mission. I'll have more to say about the book once I finish reading it, but there was one early comment of his about an interesting countermeasure to working on Mars Time that piqued my interest. I'll get to that in a moment, but first let me describe what we mean by "Mars Time."