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03.11.2008

Keeping Time to a New Rover Beat

This animated GIF is a combination of two images. Both images are inside a large 'clean room,' where ATLO (Assembly, Testing, and Launch Operations) is taking place for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. In the foreground on the right are electronic components and to the left is a man leaning over the components. He is dressed in all white protective clothing, including a face mask and gloves.

Engineers worked late on March 7th, "keeping time" with an aggressive schedule for building the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Getting into a new rhythm of hard work to come, the mission team was upbeat as they kicked off a mission phase called ATLO (Assembly, Testing, and Launch Operations). Engineers double-checked voltage protection settings and reviewed operational constraints for the first Rover Compute Element. It will soon be used to test electronic components for the cruise stage, which protects the rover during its journey to Mars. For inspiration and team morale, the team broke out their new theme song: "Loving Every Minute of It" by Lover Boy, which will be played before every mission milestone achieved. The Test Conductor then polled the team to make sure everything checked out and was "Go for Power On" for the first time. Ninety minutes of testing later, and everything was still humming along!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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