The NASA team responsible for the rover Curiosity located on the planet Mars, controls it from home, due to the coronavirus.
First, it is quite difficult to drive an astronomically expensive rover, on a still unknown planet, from millions of miles away. Especially when you do this from home. But NASA's Curiosity team is proving to be able to do that.
Η NASA released today how her team has adapted to the pandemic and manages to manage an important, ongoing mission, with the participation of hundreds of people, but none of these individuals meet in person.
The team leader, Alicia Olbouth, says: “Usually we are all in the same room and we share screens, images and data. They are not just separate rooms, but also different programs and computer settings. I watch about 15 chat channels at any given time.
Of course, there are also video calls, sometimes many at a time. Processes previously performed on high-performance workstations are now performed on laptops and Internet services. But while the added complexity makes the design process less efficient, the results continue.
By mid-March, the Jet Propulsion Lab's offices in Pasadena, California had been completely vacated and work suspended. But Curiosity is still working. According to NASA, he recently went to a rock, took a sample and sent a confirmation back to the team, as it would if everything was working properly.