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OFJ97 Field Journal from Laura Barnard - 2/17/97

For once I got up early before my husband. He actually slept in this morning while I fed our four cats. It seems like a lot I know but the little monsters are all cute in their own way and they are distinctly different in their personalities. Osiris is a silver six year old tabby. She is hyper aggressive and acts like a tom cat or a small dog. She is the one that wakes you in the morning and is always into something. Charry is a six year old Russian blue with soft fur that feels like a rabbit's pelt. She is the dainty one. She is very lady like and a picky eater. In the morning she is always the last one to come to breakfast - in fact she has to have her own dish separate from the others. Yet she is the best hunter in the house and catches almost every bug that that comes in. The third indoor cat is Pookie. She is a neighborhood mongrel that was born on our doorstep three years ago. Her alternate name is TANK. This cat eats everything in sight and always comes back for more. All she does is eat and sleep! Our fourth cat is feral. She adopted us four years ago. She liked us so much that she had her kittens on our doorstep. (Yes, you guessed it. Pookie is her kitten.) We trapped the mama cat when we moved to our house. She did run away, but then three days later she was back hunting gophers in our yard, and has stayed ever since.

Some mornings we have visitors. This morning we had a troop of raccoons that helped themselves to Mama's food dish. They are really comical when they come knocking on the door in the mornings or early evening. We saw them as kits last year, and they are growing fast. I expect that they will go their separate ways soon instead of coming together all the time.

Tuesday, February 18, 1997
Even though the spacecraft is only flying its sixth orbit around Jupiter, we are now starting to get ready for the Callisto 9 (C9) orbit. It is a very complicated orbit and it will take a lot of planning. The teams will have a very strict schedule so that we will get the sequence finished in time to uplink to the spacecraft. We officially start our planning and file changing next Tuesday, so we are on our way to another sequence!

Part of my job for C9 is to get the files ready for the science coordinators. We do the initial planning for an orbit months in advance--and then we put it away "on the shelf." Not that there's really a shelf that we put things on; it's just that we don't look at it or think about it until we start getting near that orbit. It's now time for me to take those C9 plans off the shelf so that we can update them.

First, the commands get sorted so that each team only has to work with their set of information. There's no point in the solid state imaging people, for instance, looking at the commands that run the dust detector!

After everyone makes their changes, we will put all of the information and changes back together and see how the sequence looks. Usually, there are some new problems. For example, two instruments want to look at two different objects, but, because they are attached to the same platform, they need to look at the same place. Which target do you pick? This is the point where we closet ourselves in a meeting and hammer out any conflicts. It can take several days of intense bargaining before everything gets worked out.

Wednesday, February 19, 1997
Tomorrow is closest approach for the Europa 6 orbit. That means pizza party organization for me. For one party we had too many people who RSVP'd at the last minute, and we ran out of food. Not that food is the only attraction: several people are getting data down from the spacecraft so you get to know first hand how the encounter is going. A few times we have had our party during closest approach so we turn on the monitors and watch the Doppler data as the spacecraft passes the satellite.(I'll leave it to the Radio Science people to explain how Doppler works!)

Team webpages are becoming a constant in my life. It seems like there is always something to put on-line or update, like current information for our international scientists, and the final versions of the Europa 6 orbit planning products. There were over 220 science activities in this sequence!. Needless to say, getting that on the Web that took up the rest of my day!

 

 
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