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Would you delay ER to work on Mars?
Old 02-18-2007, 09:29 PM   #1
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Would you delay ER to work on Mars?

The Spirit and Opportunity (Mars) Rovers are approaching three years past their original warranty period of 90 days. If you were one of the scientists, would you put off retirement to see the project through?

I remember joking with a fellow programmer about writting a couple support applications for a project we were working on at the time and naming them 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity'. Little did I know that system would become as big as it has nor that the rovers would still be going three years later

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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?
Old 02-18-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?

As someone who actually works at JPL, the answer is a definite yes. People work for a lot of reasons, most people on flight projects have a deep regard for the work they do and the limited opportunities (launch windows to Mars are every two years), funding can be VERY hard to come by and I have never seen anyone bail at critical times. There are a bunch of people with 40 to 50 years service, you just can't get the geeks to leave.
Now, when a project ends there is a frenzy to find another project or job somewhere. Then being retirement eligible comes in very handy for stress control.
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?
Old 02-19-2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?

You mean they let you play on the Mars program AND they pay you!?!

For me, working on the Mars program would BE retirement
Nothing I can imagine would be more enjoyable.
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?
Old 02-19-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?

I would have delayed RE if I was working on that project.

Then again I would have delayed RE if I was a:
Bartender in a strip joint
A NASCAR driver
A multi billionaire running a multi billion dollar company
The President of the USA
A Rock & Roll Star with a lot of groupies
Close to finding a cure for cancer
Making the world a better place
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
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