Archive For January, 2009

5 articles

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Snow in Mars’ Atmosphere

In The Guardian, Ian Sample has a very nice article about how baby steps of exploration and scientific inquiry are making subtle, gigantic changes to our understanding of our place in the Universe.  Just finding the snow crystals forming in the upper atmosphere, for example - something that happens every day on Earth - precipitates a gigantic change in our…

Profile shot: SKPP snapshot

The Protection Profile for Separation Kernels in environments requiring high robustness is starting to get a lot of attention.  What is it?  What is it about?  What can it do for me?If you're the average Joe, it's probably not going to mean much to you until products for information assurance and seals for conformance / validation start becoming popular.  When…

An Engineer’s perspective looking back: 5 years [continued]

[continued from here] As far as anyone expected, at Launch Day we were already over the longest part of the mission - development and testing.  We'd spent 3 years doing our parts to build and test both of our rovers.  The cruise phase and nominal mission length together added up to less than a year.After the launch of the rockets,…

Five Years – an engineer’s perspective looking back

Back in 1994, a few of us at WRS had the pleasure of working with JPL on a mission based on a radical new concept:  using Commercial Off-The-Shell  (COTS) products to build a planetary probe.  In the past, all such deep space probes (etc) had been designed and built just for the mission at hand, each new mission required a…

Five Years

Five Years.  It doesn't seem like much.  About 1/20th of a long human life span.  20 times 90 days.  The amount of time it takes (roughly) from birth until entering school/pre-school/kindergarten.  A reasonable span between sabbaticals,   Can you think of where you were 5 years ago?A five year mission is what Enterprise was sent on, "where no man had gone…