Header Bar Graphic
Astronaut ImageArchives HeaderBoy Image
Spacer

TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate Button
SpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews Button
SpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

 

Mars Team Online WebChat

Date: April 29, 1997

Featuring: Bridget Landry
Deputy Uplink Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA


Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 8:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT) GOOD MORNING EVERYONE! Join us here at 10 am, Pacific, for another "Live From Mars" WebChat with NASA's Bridget Landry. Bridget is the deputy uplink systems engineer for the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft-- she "teaches" computers on the ground to communicate with computers on the spacecraft. And in her spare time, Bridget is an awesome costume designer! Please read Bridget's bio (see great photos of her in costume) and also read her interesting bios at: button From here, click on "The Team" icon and look for Bridget Landry. See you in about 90 minutes!

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Good morning everyone! I hope I can read Bridget's bio on this 15 minutes.

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 9:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Good Morning Luis in Lisbon! So glad that you will joining us today! Chat with you shortly...

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thank you Sandy , I hope I can stay here until 11:00.

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Luis: What time is it in Lisbon right now? It is just about 10 a.m. here in the San Francisco Bay area.

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) here about 18:00 (gmt)

Linton, Indiana: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:01AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Hi from Indiana. I am going to pull in some students to chat with the Mars expert. Be back soon...

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:02AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Good Morning Linton, Indiana! So glad you could join us also. We'll be here when you get back...

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:01AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Luis: What grade are you in?

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Grade, sandy? You forgot-- I'm not a student or teacher! I'm a computer & network manager, and I like very much your program, and Kids!

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Oops, sorry Luis! You're right, I DID forget! Thanks for reminding me. I'm still happy that you're here today!!

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:02AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Good Morning!

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:03AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Hello Bridget! People are still signing on. However, if anyone wants to send in the first question to Bridget, go ahead!

Linton, Indiana: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Could you explain to second graders exactly what you do? Thanks :)

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Linton, Indiana: My primary job on Mars Pathfinder was to teach the ground computers the same "language" that the spacecraft knows, so that they can talk to one another. Now, and when we land on Mars, I will also be helping the folks on the imaging team put together the commands that are used to take pictures: where to point the camera, how long to expose the shot, that sort of thing.

Linton, Indiana: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thank you.

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Will pathfinder question a command that has been sent to it?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT) vince/boeing: Yes, Pathfinder will question commands that are sent if: they become garbled during transmission; they have bad parameter values; or they are sent during a part of the mission that is wrong for them (for instance, it would have rejected a command to deploy the airbags during the launch phase) This is one of many safeguards that we put in.

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Ok, Bridget : How old are You? I could not find it on your bio.

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT) luis/lisbon: I'm 36 years old.

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT) So, you are making a kind of GateWay?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT) luis/lisbon: I don't know what you mean by a GateWay.

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT) well, a gateway like I use to transform X25 to TCP-IP.

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT) luis/lisbon: I don't know enough about the hardware to answer that question. Sorry!

Shannon/5th grade: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:11AM PDT (-0700 GMT) In your journal you said you are simulating the first 5 sols on Mars. What does that mean and how do you do it?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Shannon/5th grade: Since Mars' day is 40 minutes longer than Earth's day (that is, its rotation period is 40 minutes longer) we use the term "sol" to make sure we know what we're referring to. To simulate our activities on the first 5 sols, we have a computer that pretends to be the spacecraft and we practice sending the command sequences we're planning to actually send. Think of it as a dress rehearsal.

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT) How far ahead of an actual sequence is the command sent to pathfinder? i.e. 'use a close-up lens in that direction'.

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT) vince/boeing: Some sequences go active as soon as we send them, others wait for a specific time. In any case, the commands have to be sent about 10 min before we want them to execute, due to the time it take s for the commands to get to Mars.

Shannon/5th grade: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Bridget, how long will you have to work the graveyard shift? Are you still running all of these tests? Aren't you tired???

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Shannon/5th grade: I was working graveyard all last week, though I will probably also work it the first week we are on Mars. The test ran all of last week and ended on Friday, so I had the weekend to rest up. But, yes, I'm still kinda tired. It's hard to turn your schedule around like that, especially for a few days.

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Can you give us a example of the code you use with pathfinder?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT) luis/lisbon: can't give you an example off the top of my head. The commands are tailored to the spacecraft.

Linton, Indiana: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT) It takes 10 minutes to get a message to mars?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:21AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Linton, Indiana: Yes, it takes 10 min. for light or radio signals to reach Mars. Gives you an idea of how far away it is, huh? Our main mission will be for 30 days after we land on Mars, starting July 4, but we hope to be able to continue for 1 (Earth) year.

Joe: Boston Prep: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT) You said in one of your journals that the testing hasn't "gone well" and thjat lots of mistakes have been made. Can you tell me more about the mistakes?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Joe: Boston Prep: Some of the mistakes were people making commands that would have been rejected by the s/c because they were unfamiliar with the command structures. Other mistakes were of the "forgetting to touch second base" type: things people knew, but just left out because we havent' had much practice yet.

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Have you been able to glean any lessons learned from the Galileo project and apply them?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT) vince/boeing: I believe we benefitted from Galileo in that we will use some of the data compression techniques that they came up with when they couldn't use their high gain antenna.

Linton, Indiana: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Bridget - Where are you now?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:27AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Linton: Right now I'm in my office on the second floor of the building that is used to control all the missions that JPL oversees: currently, that includes Galileo and a few other besides us, of course! Pathfinder stands about as tall as I do, about 5 feet and a little more, and weighs 800 kg, which is MUCH more than I weigh!

Mrs. Jones 3rd graders: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT) We looked at your costumes on your webpage, do you ever wear your space ones to work?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:28AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Mrs. Jones Third grade: I only wear my costumes to work on Halloween!

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Excitement must be building around the project, what does everyone do to stay calm?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Vince: Different people do different things to stay calm. There are a lot of bad jokes, and people eat the weirdest things sometimes, either for good luck or just from nervousness.

Jeff/Hamilton/Canada: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Can you tell us what the first pictures that Pathfinder will take?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Jeff Hamilton: The first planned pictures include a shot of the rover as it's clamped down on the petal, and the immediate area around the lander, so we can determine if there is room to deploy the ramps for the rover to run down.

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Will any expieraments be conducted using pathfinder and MGS spacecraft together?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT) vince: The only coordination between MPF and MGS will be that MGS will take many pictures of the MPF landing site. This way we'll have close-up images and remote pictures of the same area, which will help us to interpret remote images of areas for which we don't have up close and personal info.

Jeff/Hamilton/Canada: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:33AM PDT (-0700 GMT) What if there isn't enough room to deploy the ramps for the rover to run down???

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Jeff/Hamilton/Canada: We're hoping that we'll be able to deploy at least one of the ramps. If not, we may be able to move the landeer a little by "walking" it on the petals after it opens up.

Cowboys/Cowgirls in Linton: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT) What pictures have you received from Mars? This question is from Cowgirl Mindy in Linton. She's a kindergarner.

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Cowboys/Cowgirls in Linton: The only pictures we have from the surface of Mars were taken by the Viking Landers 20 years ago. Getting new pictures is one of the reasons we wanted to send Pathfinder; who knows how the rocks have changed in 20 years!?

Jeff/Hamilton/Canada: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT) So, did you practise "petal-walkng" the s/c before you sent if off to Mars???

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:38AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Jeff/Hamilton/Canada: I think there was some practice, but we REALLY hope we won't have to do it!

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:43AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Are command sent directly to MPF or are they relayed via another orbiting spacecraft?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT) vince/boeing: Pathfinder has no orbiter, just the lander and the rover, so the commands go straight to the lander and the rover related ones are relayed to the rover.

SABRINA,ANA,MAGGIE,JESSICA: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT) CAN YOU TALK TO THE PATHFINDER YET?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT) SABRINA,ANA,MAGGIE,JESSICA: Yes, we've been able to talk to Pathfinder ever since an hour after launch, when it separated from the launch vehicle, freeing the antenna for transmission.

mike,kyle, nick: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT) how old is mars and why is mars red?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT) mike,kyle, nick: Mars is red because it has iron oxides in its soil. It is the same age as the Earth, roughly 4.5 billion years old.

vince/boeing: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Have to go! Thanks so much for the chat, I'll be leaning on my computer around july 4th...It'll be fantastic! Bye...

luis/lisbon/portugal/europe: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Bye everyone! I have to go now. Kind regards to Bridget & Nasa folks.

mike,kyle, nick: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT) do you use a cd rom?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT) mike,kyle, nick: We use a cd-rom to back up large data sets.

Kalee/Rebecca: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT) do you think we will find life on mars?

: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Brad is ascking, is ther any way we could regenerate life on Mars?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Brad: We would have to find a way to make liquid water stable on the surface to generate life on Mars.

phillip: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT) When are you going to send another rover to Mars?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT) phillip: I think the next few Mars missions that have landers will have rovers. The next one will be about 2 years after Pathfinder.

Amanda/Andrea: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Do you think there is life on Mars?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Amanda/Andrea: I hope so, but we have no conclusive evidence of it.

SABRINA,ANA,MAGGIE,JESSICA: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING YOUR JOB AND TALKING TO THE PATHFINDER?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT) SABRINA,ANA,MAGGIE,JESSICA: I've been working on Pathfinder for about 3 years and we've been talking to Pathfinder almost as long as it's been up, since December 4th.

SHANNON KEESHIA: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT) WHY DOESNT MARS HAVE AN RING?

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT) SHANNON KEESHIA: We don't really know why rings form, so it's hard to say why they don't form. Maybe there wasn't enough junk close enough???

Bridget/JPL: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thanks everyone for all the great questions! I had fun!

SABRINA,ANA,MAGGIE,JESSICA: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT). FROM HYDESVILLE SCHOOL: Thank You but we need to go back to classs,thank you for chating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SHANNON KEESHIA: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT) WE NEED TO GO KNOW BUY NICE TALKING TO YOU

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thanks everyone for sending in such good questions for Bridget. Join us next week for another "Mars Team Online" WebChat. I will post a schedule for the month of May later this week. Bye!

Amanda/Andrea: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thank you for chatting with us.

JASMINE/AMY : . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!WE HAVE TO GO TO CLASS.THANKS

RUSS BRANDON MATT: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thank you for chatting with us.

phillip: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) THANKYOU WE HAVE TO LEEVE

Kalee/Rebecca: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) Thanks for chating with us so much.

Emily/Leila: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) thankyou for chating with emily /leila, by

mike,kyle, mik: . . . . Tue, Apr 29, 10:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT) THANKYOU FOR CHATING WITH US.


BACK
 
Spacer        

Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info