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Getting Down to Work


July 28, 2008 -
Our second sol began with a bang for most of the team, but not for the Mountain View team... our alarms didn't go off! Luckily, Caitlin woke up at 6 a.m., the time we were supposed to meet up to drive to the SOC. It was a good thing we had packed our lunches the night before, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten there in time for the kickoff meeting.

Right after the kickoff, all the teams got down to work. The Pomona, Calif., team continued on the sol-by-sol presentation and then met with our mentor Dr. Leslie Tamppari to discuss our upcoming work generating some of the commands for her work with coordinated science observations. A highlight for us was seeing Principal Investigator Peter Smith at the midpoint meeting. We had been sitting behind his red chair that says "Smith, P.I." in Downlink room and it was cool seeing him speak in person. The Cleveland, Texas, team continued our work and we have completed 8 of 13 raw data sets. We picked up one additional project of doing some visual analysis of images of the robotic arm scoop to support Dr. Doug Ming in his efforts to determine why the soil samples stick in the scoop. We are having a great time! The Mountain View, Calif., team is making steady progress cataloging all the RAC (robotic arm camera) images that relate to icy samples. By 8:30 a.m., we were already looking for a second dose of caffeine!

All the three groups sat in on the end-of-sol science meeting, where the scientists were discussing why they think the soil samples are sticking in the scoop. The title of the presentation included an acronym that made us laugh: WAG, which stands for "wild a-- guess". We found it especially funny because we had just gone over the very long acronym list yesterday. Seems that it really comes in handy!

After the first half of the meeting was over, we headed back to our quarters in the PIT and took some pictures next to full scale models. Awesome! To explore the Tucson area a bit, some of us went to the Arizona-Sonora Dessert Museum, which was half zoo, half museum and was really cool. The Cleveland, Texas, team went to explore the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Dinner was neat because we had a great bonding time with all the students, teachers and facilitators. Then we all went to the pool for a couple of hours and relaxed.  Tomorrow we actually get to sleep in because we start our shift at nine in the morning...

Good night!

Your friendly neighborhood PSIP teams from Cleveland High School (Cleveland, TX), Mountain View High School (Mountain View, CA) and Village Academy High School (Pomona, CA)

The Pomona, CA PSIP team and PSIP Facilitator, Chris Gregory, work on the sol-by-sol presentation.