OFJ97 Field Journal from Laura Barnard - 2/20/97Same ol', Same ol'. You would think that I would change my routine at least a little bit! Read the mail, listen to voicemail and write journals.
Only five more orbits to go until we are done with the "nominal" (meaning planned) mission. Unfortunately an upcoming orbit will make us all want to quit early! Callisto 9 (C9, the ninth orbit, with a close encounter with Callisto) is going to be a development nightmare. This is because C9 is such a long orbit- -just about twice as long as the others. That means there are conflicts with other projects wanting to use the DSN (Deep Space Network), and problems with allocating spacecraft resources. Plus, we are planning to do something new when we play the data back. With C9 we are planning on having our recorded encounter, then play part of it back, then record AGAIN after we have cleared that part of the tape. It would almost be easier to start from scratch if we had the time. We have already started to "slip" the schedules (that is, push all our deadlines later) to accommodate delays, and we are cutting a fine line in getting commands to the spacecraft in time for the encounter on June 25th. It seems like such a long time away, yet we are already planning how to distribute the spacecraft's resources and timing during the encounter.
In addition, we are working on the two orbits before C9, Ganymede 7 and 8, but they seem almost simple because they are shorter and have been relatively free of conflicts. The rest of the day I worked on the Playback Rules document. I mentioned this once before in my journal for February 6th and look at how many things interrupted me before I got it pulled together!
Friday, February 21, 1997
Today we started out by having a meeting with our section group supervisor. This is considered our line management (which is different from our project management) and we don't actually see these individuals except during group meetings, evaluations, etc. They also sign our paychecks so it is worth being nice to them! :-) Our manager tries to bring in speakers from other projects on lab so that we can see what others are doing and where there may be jobs in the future after Galileo is finished. It is a unique perspective that most people never see. They either don't have group meetings, or they don't have a line management supervisor (because they charge directly to a task)
For lunch we had the Europa 6 Pizza party. There was over 35 people that came for pizza and we polished off 15 pizzas! Several people forgot so I had to comb the floors looking for them in their offices. (They were busy drooling over their data...) If you are late to one of these events you miss out on all of the food!
For the rest of the afternoon I worked on a new homepage design for the real-time science instruments. These are the fields and particles instruments that examine magnetic fields, dust, plasma, charged particles, etc etc.
Saturday, February 22, 1997
This is the last weekend with my husband before he goes on a long over-seas trip for his company, so we did last minute shopping and planning for his trip. I fixed his favorite meals so that he could think of home when he was forced to eat airline food, and I baked him cookies to eat as snacks. He is a regular cookie monster and could easily finish all of the cookies in the house even if I baked every weekend. I also did my spring seed planting for my herb garden. I love fresh herbs when I cook so I planted all of the herbs that I use and some annual flowers as well to fill in the garden. It was a beautiful weekend to be outside. It was 70 to 80 degrees with a light breeze coming off the ridge. It felt great!