What A Week

NASA returned to Mars! Successfully landing a new & improved rover.

This amazing feat was met with an angry outburst by the locals however…

And yes, I am indeed that easily amused! However the NASA news had me reminiscing about my days at NRLs Space Systems, where I worked on multiple satellites & met my beloved hubby!

There I stand, front & center with the rest of the LACE team! I also met my good buddy BadBob there. When folks would brag about their kids or pets, BadBob would ask, oh SO innocently: “Do you want to see my pride & joy?” while pulling this out of his wallet…

Good times, good times indeed! That was my first satellite. The most famous satellite program I worked on was Clementine. We mapped the moon in greater detail than any other program & I was engineer on console for the bistatic radar test that found ICE at the south pole of the moon! After mapping the moon we were supposed to loop back around the earth to help sling shot us to an asteroid for the final phase of the mission.

Some genius decided that was a perfect time to start slimming down the team. I was “riffed” on my wedding day. When we returned from our honeymoon we hit Chris’s favorite chili place only to find my scientists there drinking beer? At lunch? I asked what was up & they said “we lost the satellite”. At first I thought they were joking, sadly- no. Here’s one of my favorite Clementine images!

So cool to have been able to work on that program! But back to “earth” and our small piece of it. Our Peace Path is nicely illuminated by the latest snow!

And you really can’t go wrong with Peanuts!

In much sadder news: today America has crossed the half million mark. Over 500,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 in a single year. The brighter side is that deaths appear to be declining and we have vaccines rolling out, so there is reason to be hopeful that by summers end we will be back to something approximating normal life.

2 comments

  1. Re Clementine, I had literally just come on shift, and autolocation tests were being conducted. Algorithm 1 worked perfectly. Algorithm 2, which had never been thoroughly proved on the test bed had the anomaly. I was looking at the image the screen when suddenly it zoomed off like a bat out of hell. The fuel was quickly expelled and Clem went into a rapid, unrecoverable spin. sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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