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OFJ Field Journal from Randy Herrera - 11/7/95

So, OK, I was whining quite a bit in my last entry...but hey, it relieves stress.

Well, A LOT has happened since my last entry. We thought we had lost the tape recorder but then it turned out we hadn't. At least Radio Science is unaffected by the use of the tape recorder -- our data is recorded at the ground station on the Earth, and not on the spacecraft.

Our first big experiment for the Tour is on the day after Jupiter Orbit Insertion (JOI, when the spacecraft actually gets into orbit around Jupiter). There is an occultation of the Earth by Jupiter on that day. As the spacecraft's radio signal disappears behind the planet, we record the signal at the ground station. Analyzing that data allows our investigators to come up with pressure and temperature profiles of the Jovian atmosphere while the spacecraft stays high above the atmosphere. Pretty cool, huh?

We had the second ORT on Thursday night/Friday morning last week. I came in at 11 pm and left the next day around 2 pm -- long day!! We have the third and final ORT on Thursday night/Friday morning this week. Again, I'm to come in at 11 pm but this time, I'll leave sometime Friday morning.

We seem to be having a problem with some of the equipment at the station. The tapes that contain the data seem to have a few data points that are duplicates. This is our highest priority right now - figuring out why this is happening. Some new equipment was installed in early July but not the equipment which produces these apparently faulty data. So, it's a mystery right now.

Another minor concern is the type of food to have available for the ORTs and for the days of JOI and our experiment. Radio Science here at JPL is known for its food ("It's the food, stupid"). So we're trying to figure out how many people to expect over the course of the two days and whether to have it catered or what. We have our priorities you know....

That's all for now folks.



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