Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bubba & Me (JPL Open House this Saturday)

As I mentioned a few weeks back, this Saturday I'll be one of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors volunteering at the annual JPL Open House in Pasadena. It turns out that I'll be helping out in the outdoor Mars exhibit area in the afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

My role will be to "interact with public" at the "Moving MER" exhibit under an outdoor tent, where an engineering rover named "Bubba" will demonstrate how the rocker-bogie wheel/suspension system enables the real Mars Rovers to roll over fairly large rocks while keeping the main body of the rover pretty level. JPL sent me some Mars Program "talking points," but fortunately I know a fair amount about Mars and the MER program, so I think I will do OK talking with members of the public. Guess this means I don't get to drive Bubba (I think that's Bubba in the picture, but I'm not 100% sure).

UPDATE: Nope, that wasn't "Bubba," it was probably "Rocky 8" - this picture from today shows (L to R) Dr. Fuk Li (Manager, NASA/JPL Mars Exploration Program), Bubba (MER Full-Scale Mobility Test Vehicle), and me. More JPL Open House pictures and info to follow soon...

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