This video from Science Friday gives a rare glimpse at some of the people involved in building components for Curiosity. Mike & Lee of Honeybee Robotics and their team spent 8 years designing and building a carousel system that will handle the Martian soil samples Curiosity digs up. As they say, some “90% of the science” that the rover does will pass through their system, so the thing better work first time – and every time, for two years or more.
It makes you think about the probably tens of thousands of people who have a hand in this project, and the fact that all of them were aiming to work at the very highest level. Like the Honeybee guys, this project undoubtedly became an obsession for many, and with so many teams and elements thoroughly interdependent, it reinforces that the MSL is a wonderful example not just of what human intelligence can do, but human intelligence working together can achieve.
Makes you proud.
What’s the project you’re most proud of working on, professionally? The greatest team enterprise?
For me it was working for a year at WETA Productions in Wellington, N.Z. On Day One they tour the facility with you, not just because it’s cool, – although it is – but to see the galleries of created props and costumes. as well as the trophy cabinent. I got to hold an Oscar and a BAFTA, albeit briefly. It’s not about showing off, it’s about giving new employees the message – this is the level we work at here. World class. Step up. Be as good as you can be. That’s what we’re about.
For everyone and everything involved in MSL, this is the apex of their professional life to date.
And it’s going pretty well so far…