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Life as unusual


July 15, 2008 -
It's odd being here. Life feels like a standard routine, work with numbers, eat lunch... but it's done on Mars time. We eat "lunch" at 4 o-clock AM. Why?  Because on Mars time that's when we should. You never see the sun while working (and not only because we're working at night right now, but also because all the windows are completely covered up), so we feel like it's day while it's midnight. Make no mistake, we're still tired -- but it would be worse if we could see the sky. We go the bed with the rising sun, and it doesn't feel weird!

Today we arrived at the SOC right at midnight. After the kickoff meeting, the Arkansas Team went to a large computer where they learned to use software they are using for their project this week doing analysis of the robotic arm's trenching activities. The software is very complex, but after awhile they got the hang of it.  The night was similar for both the Pennsylvania and Iowa Teams, each of which met with their scientist mentors and worked on mastering computer resources specific to their projects (wind speed analysis for the PA team and spectral analysis for the IA team).

But the best thing of all is that, being here just two days so far, we have been exposed to the awesome and fun life of a Mars scientist. The cohesiveness of each team on the mission sets an example for what working together means. They are open to every bit of information available and sit on the edges of their seats waiting for the newest data to arrive from Phoenix. They are so cool and what they do every day is not just for their own interests, but expands knowledge for all of us.  We'll continue to keep you posted on happenings in our Martian discovery!

Your friendly neighborhood PSIP teams signing off! (Camden Fairview High School in Camden, AR, City High School in Iowa City, IA, and NW Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie, PA)

The Camden, AR team work on force analyses for the Robotic Arm.