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Sol 56


July 22, 2008 - Busy day at the Science Operations Center today! The San Diego team continued to make progress on our robotic arm by attaching an engineering model of the TECP (the thermal and electrical conductivity probe). This required making a design for the parts that would help attach it using AutoCAD software, machining the part, and attaching the TECP to our robotic arm in preparation for running some tests on the sample soil. The tests that we are going to be calculating are permittivity, electroconductivity, thermal conductivity, and humidity of the soil. We presented the robotic arm with TECP attached along with our plans for scientific testing to all of the scientists during the end-of-sol science meeting.

Today was also very exciting for the Anthem, Ariz., team. We got to work on the opportunity of taking an image with the SSI of an icy patch in one of the trenches and possibly of dust devil tracks. We came up with a target of the ice from the Dodo-Goldilocks trench dig site, selected a filter, and developed a command. We will find out tomorrow if it gets included in the spacecraft schedule. We attended a few meetings, like the end-of-sol science meeting and the upcoming sol planning meeting. We also helped mission engineer Pat Woida by sorting through images of the "Snow White" trench looking for changes in the white icy material.

Tomorrow, we all have a tight schedule of giving presentations, tours, assisting a public event, and working with kids. We look forward to having a busy day tomorrow and assisting with the events, as well as working on our science projects. Both teams are still trying to get used to the day-to-sol transition and our sleeping patterns have been anything but regular. We are having a really good time, but we need to get some rest so we can be fully awake to enjoy it.

Diggin' With the Big Rigs,

Your friendly neighborhood PSIP teams from Boulder Creek High School (Anthem, AZ) and SciTech High School (San Diego, CA)

The San Diego team presents their robotic arm to the Phoenix scientists.