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Sol 52


July 18, 2008 -
Ah, day... 5, or something. It is really much easier to think in sols (Martian days). So Sol 52 and things are going pretty well. The work we were assigned this week we got done in a timely fashion and (we think) is being done well. It is very satisfying sitting around and doing calculations. And then I realize how really awesome it is -- we're working with data received from a speck of metal and plastics a seemingly infinite distance away. If it weren't for all the definitely real activities we do every day, this would all seem very surreal.

The company of our other PSIP teams has been great, and the journey up into the hills for dinner at the home of one of the teacher's relatives was gorgeous. After rushing home from dinner to put the finishing touches on our presentations and getting a tiny amount of sleep, we headed to the SOC for our last day "on Mars." 

During our final sol we gave presentations on our work from the week. We presented to a group of about twenty scientists and it went better than we had expected. Now that we're done we can breathe a major sign of relief. In our last couple hours on the mission, we have spent our time finishing up last minute work and talking with each other. After a seemingly endless night, it is time to return to our apartments and get ready to head back to our family and friends. After all we have gone through we can proudly say that our work did, in fact, benefit the Phoenix Mars Mission.

Signing off,

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

 Katie, of the Camden, AR team, works with graduate student, Amy, and undergraduate, Kiersten, while her teacher, Pam, looks on.