Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That's The Spirit!


During my Tweetup frenzy at the NASA JPL, I actually managed to capture some mediocre video this time around. On my first visit to see Scott Maxwell, I tried to capture some of his tour, but hadn't quite gotten the hang of the new camera's video feature. This time, however, I was far more practiced!

Two of the videos turned out quite well -- and quite funny! Normally, I'd spread them out over two posts, but they fit together so well in the spirit of... SPIRIT!

Of course, we all know the Spirit Rover on Mars was retired... 6 years into her 3 month mission, as the joke goes. It's not to say we didn't get awesome science out of the lovely lady on the Red Planet, but realizing that she was unreachable was sad for employees and fans alike. Watching Spirit has been an honor -- working on her looks like it was a blast!

Here, @marsroverdriver shares a story about the Spirit Rover, having been one of the three folks on his team to speak; the other two featured in the video are Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Program Manager John Callas and Robotics Engineer Ashley Stroupe.

In related news, everyone's favorite comedian, Doug Ellison, presented his smashing idea for a unique group photograph. Terribly entertaining! He truly tickled the collective nerd funnybone with his explanation as to how we would pull off the panoramic mosaic of pictures on Mars taken by the Spirit Rover.

Each of the posters, which we all got to keep, are one of a kind! I ended up getting one the hearts he speaks about in the video, and cannot wait to have mine framed. :) You can see the mad scramble to put all the pieces together in my JPL Picasa Gallery... what a madhouse! But the final photograph turned out quite nicely in the end -- whereupon we also took a regular photograph where one might see all our smiling faces!

Spirit Rover Mosaic
The only thing we Tweeps couldn't figure out was why NASA TV hasn't given Scott and Doug their own television show yet?!