It Broke! A Story of How We Fixed It (live public talk)


>>GEEK JET PROPULSION LABRATORY VON KARMAN SERIES. WELCOME TO THE TALK, IT BROKE A STORY HOW WE FIXED IT. PERCENTAGE WISE, NASA JPL HAS A PRETTY GOOD RECORD. FEW HAVE SET SOME GOLDEN RECORD. YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE AT RIGHT? [LAUGHTER] LET YOUR NERD FLAG FLY. TONIGHT WE’RE GOING TO TELL YOU A STORY MAYBE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD BEFORE. YOU WILL BE FORGIVEN FOR NOT REMEMBERING THIS SPACECRAFT. TALE OF STRESS IS DEDICATED GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS TO SAVE SPACECRAFT FARTHER AWAY FROM OUR SUN IS A STORY OF HOPE. WHAT WE HAVE HUMAN BEINGS ARE CAPABLE. THE WORDS OF COMMANDER PETER TAGGART NEVER GIVE UP AND SWAGGER. OUR SPEAKER GREW UP AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. HE RECEIVED MS IN PHYSICS. WHERE HE RECEIVED HIS PH.D. HE JOINED JPL IN 1986. IS THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE RECEIVED BOTH THE EXCEPTIONAL TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD AND EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP AWARD. HOLD BLACK BELT IN KARATE. HE’S ONE OF THOSE JPL UNDERACHIEVERS. DR. MARK RAYMOND. [APPLAUSE]>>LET’S GET RIGHT INTO IT. WHAT WAS IT THAT LED YOU HERE TO JPL?>>I’VE BEEN A SPACE ENTHUSIST SINCE I WAS FOUR. I LOVED. I DECIDED IN THE FOURTH I WANTED TO GET A PH.D. IN PHYSICS AND WORK FOR NASA. WHEN I WAS IN THE FOURTH GRADE, WHEN I WROTE TO JPL FOR THE FIRST TIME AS WELL AS OTHER NASA CENTERS AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD. TO ME, WORKING HERE IT’S TRUAL DREAM COME TRUE. I LOVE IT. I JUST LOVE IT. IT IS SO COOL AND EVERYDAY, I FEEL SO FORTUNATE. IT’S TREMENDOUS. IT’S FUN. I FEEL LIKE I’M GETTING PAID TO DO MY HOBBY.>>DON’T TELL ANYBODY THAT. YOU GOT AT GREAT — YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD YOUR DREAM JOB MULTIPLE TIMES. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MISSIONS YOU BEEN ON?>>I WORKED ON A NUMBER OF FUN THINGS. WORKING ON SYSTEM USED LASERS FOR COMMUNICATING WITH SPACECRAFT FAR IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. WORKED ON LASER FOR MARS. INFRARED SPACE TELESCOPE. WORKED ON MISSION TO MEASURE THE HEIGHTS OF WAVES ON THE OCEAN. RETURN SAMPLE FROM MARS. LOTS OF FUN THINGS.>>LOTS OF FUN THINGS. THIS IS YOUR FIRST END–END FROM COCKTAIL NAP TICK — NAPKIN TO END OF A MISSION>>THIS IS FIRST TIME I TOOK ONE FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END. THAT’S DEEP SPACE ONE.>>WHAT DID IT STEM OUT OF?>>IN THE 1990s, THERE WAS A RECOGNITION THAT NASA WAS GOT IN A VICIOUS CYCLE. WHEN NASA STARTED, IT WAS ALWAYS USING THE MOST CUTTING EDGE ADVANCE TECHNOLOGIES. AFTER A WHILE THAT STOPPED. YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY. IF YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR MULTI-HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR MISSION. YOU’RE NOT REWARDED FOR TAKING THE RISK YOU’RE REWARDED FOR BEING SUCCESSFUL. BEST WAY TO B SUCCESSFUL IS NOT TO TAKE A RISK WITH SOME FANCY NEW TECHNOLOGY. RATHER IT’S TO USE SOMETHING THAT THE GUY BEFORE YOU USED. YOU KNOW THAT IT WORKS IN SPACE. IT CAN SURVIVE THE RADIATION, THE TEMPERATURE, THE ROCKET RIDE, ALL THE FORBIDDING ASPECTS OF MISSION IN SPACE. NASA GOT IN THIS CYCLE USING OLDER AND OLDER TECHNOLOGY. RECOGNIZING THAT THERE WERE PROMISING NEW TECHNOLOGIES BUT NOBODY WOULD USE THEM UNTIL SOMEBODY ELSE DID. IN THE MID-’90s, WE STARTED A PROGRAM CALLED THE NEW MILLENNIUM PROGRAM. THAT WAS DESIGN TO TEST THESE HIGH RISK TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM. DEEP SPACE ONE AND OTHER MISSIONS OF THIS SO CALLED NEW MILLENNIUM PROGRAM WERE DESIGNED TO TAKE THE RISK SO FUTURE MISSIONS WOULDN’T HAVE TO. HERE’S DEEP SPACE ONE AND WE HAVE THESE 12 ASTOUNDING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE POINT OF THE MISSION WAS TO EXERCISE THESE ON AN OPERATIONAL, INTERPLANETARY MISSION.>>YOU WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO ME. DEEP SPACE ONE DID NOT HAVE A SCIENCE QUESTION IT NEEDED TO>>NOT IN THE CONVENTIONAL SENSE. THE QUESTION THAT WE WERE ASKING WAS, HOW WELL DO THESE TECHNOLOGIES WORK? CAN WE RELY ON THEM FOR FUTURE MISSIONS? CAN THEY LIVE UP TO THEIR PROMISE. IF THEY CAN’T, THEN WE’LL FIND OUT ON DS1 AND NOT SUBJECT THESE SUBSEQUENT MISSIONS TO THESE RISKS. WE HAD SOME FANCY TECHNOLOGIES. ION PROPULSION, WHICH I FIRST HEARD ON A STAR TREK EPISODE. THAT BECAME VERY IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY OUT OF ANOTHER MISSION THAT JUST COMPLETED END OF LAST YEAR WITH THE SPACECRAFT ORBITING A DWARF PLANET BETWEEN MAR AND JUPITER. WE HAD THIS MIND OF ITS OWN. WE HAD SOME ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SMART ON BOARD SYSTEMS. DOESN’T WANT TO RISK A MISSION WITH THOSE UNTIL WE TESTED THEM OUT. THAT WAS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE MISSION.>>YOU GET THIS GREAT MISSION, YOUR PRIMARY MISSION WAS FOR HOW>>IT WAS 11 MONTHS.>>FROM BUILD TO THROUGH THAT PRIMARY MISSION, HOW LONG IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE?>>NORMALLY IT TAKES FIVE YRS OR SO FROM THE TIME YOU CAN CONCEIVE OF IT UNTIL THE TIME YOU LAUNCH. DS1 ON THE LEFT, JUST FEW HUNDRED YARDS FROM HERE, WE SAY UP THE HILL. WE DID IN THREE YEARS. AT THAT TIME, THE LOWEST COST INTERPLANETARY MISSION NASA EVER DONE. THE IDEAS TO HAVE SEE IF WE CAN BREAK OUT OF THE CYCLOUSING OUT OF DATE TECHNOLOGY.>>YOU GOT THIS GREAT PHOTO.>>SOLAR RAISER NOT MOUNTED TO IT. YOU SEEING THE MAIN SPACECRAFT STRUCTURE.>>YOU GOT THAT BEAUTIFUL LAUNCH PHOTO ON OCTOBER 24, 1998.>>BEAUTIFUL LAUNCH. I INCLUDE HERE ALSO MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF DS1. WORKED ON IT A LOT. SPENT LOT OF TIME IN THE CLEAN ROOM. THIS IS MY FAVORITE PICTURE. THIS WAS TAKEN BY THE FAMOUS 20. THERE’S DS1 WHEN IT WAS NINE TIMES FARTHER AWAY FROM THE MOON. THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST DISTANCES AT WHICH A HUMAN-MADE SPACECRAFT HAS BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED. WHICH A HUMAN-MADE OBJECT EVER BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED ABOUT WHEN THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN, IT WAS FOUR MILLION TIMES FAINTER THAN WHAT YOU CAN SEE WITH YOUR NAKED EYE. I LOVE THIS PICTURE. WHEN A TELESCOPE TAKES A PICTURE OF SOMETHING, THE TELESCOPE HAS TO MOVE TO COUNTERACT EARTH’S ROTATION. THAT’S WHY THE STARS ARE DOTS. THE SHAPE OF DS1. IT DOESN’T TELL BUT THE SHAPE OF THE SPACECRAFT, IT ITS OWN INDEPENDENT MOTION THROUGH THE SOLAR SYSTEM WHILE THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN. TO ME THIS SAYS WE HAVE A SPACECRAFT OUT AMONG THE STARS. WHAT COULD BE COOLER THAN THAT? I REALLY LOVE THIS PICTURE.>>I LOVE YOUR EXCITEMENT ALREADY. [LAUGHTER] YOU GET THIS GREAT PHOTO. YOU’RE OUT THERE. EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL. THE TECHNOLOGY IS IMPROVING.>>WE — IT WAS VERY DEMANDING MIX. MOST MISSIONS THEY TRAVEL A LONG TIME BEFORE THEY GET TO THEIR DESTINATION. FOR DS1, WE IMMEDIATELY TESTING OUT THESE TECHNOLOGIES PUTTING THEM THROUGH THE PACES, SEEING HOW WELL THEY WOULD WORK. CHALLENGING THEM.>>YOU GOT A BONUS THING OUT OF THIS.>>WE DID.>>A FLY BY.>>BECAUSE WE HAD ION PROPULSION, WHICH IS UNIQUELY CAPABLE, FAR MORE CAPABLE THAN CONVENTIONAL PROPULSION. WE HAD THIS SO CALLED AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION SYSTEM THAT IS WHERE THE SPACECRAFT COULD NAVIGATE ITSELF. WE WANTED TO PROVE THAT WE CAN DO MORE THAN JUST SEND THE SPACECRAFT OUT INTO THE SOLAR SYSTEM A AND PUTTER AROUND. WE CAN TRAVEL TO A SPECIFIC DESTINATION. WE LAUNCHED IN OCTOBER OF ’98 AND JULY 1999. WE FLEW BY AN ASTEROID TO PROVE WE CAN TRAVEL A SPECIFIC DESIGNATION IN SPACE.>>VERY COOL. YOU GET TO THE END OF THIS 11-MONTH PRIME MISSION. YOU GOT A SPACECRAFT UP THERE.>>WE DO. WE HAD A HEALTHY SPACECRAFT OUT THERE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, THE REST OF US HERE WERE TAXPAYER, WE PAID FOR THIS SPACECRAFT. WE WANTED TO TAKE THE BEST ADVANTAGE OF IT. WE ACTUALLY PROPOSED TO NASA HEADQUARTERS SO CALLED EXTENDED MISSION. A NEW THING TO DO WITH THE SPACECRAFT. THEY CONCURRED AND INSTEAD OF TESTING MORE TECHNOLOGIES, THE IDEA WAS TO FLY FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS AT THE END OF THIS 11-MONTH MISSION, TO FLY TO A COMET AND GET A CLOSEUP PICTURE OF THE COMET. AT THAT TIME, WE DID NOT HAVE GOOD CLOSEUP PICTURES. THIS WILL BE NASA’S FIRST ATTEMPT TO SEND A SPACECRAFT TO COMET. WE’VE ALL SENILE COOL PICTURES N COOL PICTURES OF COMETS. THERE’S THE COMA. THAT CAN BE MANY THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF MILES ACROSS, BIGGER THAN EARTH SOMETIMES. A TAIL THAT CAN BE EVEN MILLIONS OF MILES LONG. DEEP INSIDE THAT COMA IS A SMALL SOLID OBJECT THAT CAN BE A FRACTION OF OF MILE OR A FEW MILES ACROSS. TOO SMALL TO BE SEEN FROM EARTH. OUR AMBITIOUS PROPOSAL WAS TO FLY FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS AND AT THAT POINT, ROUGHLY A BILLION COMA AND TAKE A PICTURE.N THIS>>THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. IT WORKED A STORY OF NOTHING GOING WRONG.>>THAT’S TRUE.>>I’M GUESSING SOMETHING HAPPENED?>>IT DID. NOVEMBER 11, 1999 A COUPLE OF MONTHS IN THIS EXTENDED MISSION, DISASTER STRUCK. THERE’S A DEVICE ON THE SPACECRAFT CALLED A STAR TRACKER. THIS IS A CLEVER NAME BECAUSE IT TRACKS STARS. THE IDEA OF THIS THING IS, IN THE ZERO GRAVITY OF SPACE, FAR FROM ANYTHING, SPACECRAFT NEEDS HELP TO FIGURE OUT ITS ORIENTATION. WE FIGUR OUT OUR ORIENTATION HERE ON THE GROUND, WE SENSE GRAVITY. WE MIGHT RECOGNIZE LANDMARKS. YOU MIGHT USE A COMPASS FOR EXAMPLE TO TELL YOU THAT’S NORTH OR YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE STAR PATTERNS. THE NORTH STAR OR THE BIG DIPPER OR ORION. STAR TRACKER WORK THE SAME WAY. IT WAS A CAMERA AND COMPUTER TOGETHER IN ONE UNIT. THIS WAS NOT ONE OF OUR ADVANCE TECHNOLOGIES. IT WOULD REGULARLY TAKE PICTURES OF THE STARS. IT WOULD RECOGNIZE THE STAR PATTERN AND IT WOULD SAY TO THE COMPUTER, I RECOGNIZE THAT STAR PATTERN, I’M ORIENTED THIS WAY. THAT’S HOW THE SPACECRAFT KNEW IN THE ZERO GRAVITY OF SPACE HOW IT WAS ORIENTED. UNTIL NOVEMBER 11, 1999, IT FAILED. THE SPACECRAFT THEN RESPONDED WITH WHAT WE CALL A SAFE MODE THIS ISIVE SOFTWARE THAT’S DESIGNED TO RESPOND WHEN THERE’S A PROBLEM. DS1 HAD THREE LEVELS OF THIS. IT RESPONDED WITH THE ONE APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WORST SITUATIONS.>>GOOD.>>WE NEED TO SPEND A MOMENT HERE DISCUSSING WHAT IT DID SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM WE WERE CONFRONTED WITH. IT USED A SUN SENSOR. WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM, THE ONE THING YOU CAN ALWAYS SPOT IS THE SUN. I HAD A DEVICE TO FIND THE SUN. TURN A POINT AT THAT. DIDN’T KNOW WHERE EARTH WAS OR HOW TO POINT AT IT. TRANSMITTED A VERY BROAD RADIO SIGNAL, FIGURING EARTH WILL BE MORE IN THAT SIGNAL. THEN ROTATE ABOUT ONE PER HOUR. WE SAW EARLIER CONCEPTS. I WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT HERE SO YOU CAN FOLLOW US. HERE’S THE SPACECRAFT AGAIN AND THE SOLAR RAYS ARE JUST FOLDED UP HERE ON THE SIDE HERE AND HERE. HERE’S THE SUN SENSOR. THIS THING WAS DESIGNED JUST TO SPOT THE SUN. HERE’S THE MAIN ANTENNA BUT THE MAIN ANTENNA WAS ALIGNED WITH THE SUN SENSOR. SOLAR POINT THE AT THE SUN AND NOT AT EARTH. THERE’S ANRY ANTENNA HERE THAT CAN TRANSMIT THIS BROAD BEAM INSTEAD OF NARROW RADIO BEAM. BECAUSE IT WILL COME UP LATER, I WANT TO SHOW YOU IN THE BACK HERE IS A CAMERA. WE’LL COME BACK TO THAT. AS LONG AS WE’RE LOOKING AT IT, ALSO THERE’S THE STAR TRACKER. THAT WAS OUR ASSESSMENT TO THE STAR TRACKER. NOW WITH THIS MAIN ANTENNA POINT THE AT THE SUN IN THIS BROAD BEAM, WE CAN JUST BARELY COMMUNICATE WITH THE SPACECRAFT. REMEMBER, THIS WAS AFTER THE PRIME MISSION. IT WAS ONLY FARTHER AWAY THAN WE EVER PLANNED FOR IT TO BE. PERHAPS YOU KNOW THAT WIN WE COMMUNICATE WITH INNER PLANETARY SPACECRAFT. WE USE DEEP SPACE NETWORK. BIG ANTENNAS THAT WE HAVE COMPLEX OF A FEW OF THEM NEAR GOLD STONE HERE IN CALIFORNIA. NEAR MADRID, SPAIN AND AUSTRALIA. BY BEING SPACED AROUND EARTH, WE HAVE THEM POINTED INLL DIRECTIONS. THESE ARE BIG ANTENNAS. ONLY THE ONES THAT WERE 112 FEET IN DIAMETER HAD THE EQUIPMENT TO TRANSMIT AT DS1’S RADIO FREQUENCY. HOWEVER, IT WAS SO FAR AWAY AND USING THIS WEAK ANTENNA, ONLY THE 230-FOOT DIAMETER ANTENNAS COULD ACTUALLY RECEIVE THE SIGNAL FROM IT. THERE ARE THREE OF THESE ANTENNAS ON OUR WHOLE PLANET. WE HAD TO SCHEDULE THE USE OF SIMULTANEOUSLY 112-FOOT ANTENNA AND 230-FOOT ANTENNA JUST TO COMMUNICATE AT THE RATE WHICH WE COMMUNICATED WAS ABOUT A QUARTER OF HOW FAST WE’RE TALKING. COMPARABLE TO A GOOD MORSE CODE OPERATOR. A GOOD ONE. NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR SERIOUS INTERPLANETARY COMMUNICATIONS.>>THAT SOUNDS IMPOSSIBLE. IT SOUNDS LIKE –>>IN FACT, SO, I WASN’T HAPPY ABOUT THIS. ALL SERIOUSNESS REAL ASSESSMENT WAS THIS IS FATAL. WE SHOULD RETIRE THE SPACECRAFT THAT HAD INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL MISSION. LET IT REST. THIS WAS CATASTROPHIC. THAT’S WHAT MOST PEOPLE — THAT WAS THE PERSPECTIVE THAT MOST PEOPLE HAD.>>YOU COME UP FROM FOUR YEARS OLD KNOWING HOW TO DO THIS, GOING FROM PEOPLE WALKING ON THE MOON. I GET THE FEELING THAT IS NOT THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE.>>MY PHILOSOPHY WAS, IF IT ISN’T IMPOSSIBLE, IT ISN’T WORTH DOING. WE WANTED TO FIX THIS THING. THE FIRST CHALLENGE WAS JUST TO POINT THE ANTENNA AT EARTH. COULD WE DO THAT SO WE COULD COMMUNICATE WITH IT FOR THE POSSIBILITY THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO SALVAGE THE MISSION.>>HOW DO YOU START THINKING ABOUT THIS?>>IF YOU SEEN THE APOLLO 13 MOVIE. THERE’S A SCENE WHERE THE GUY WALKS IN THE ROOM AND HAS A BOX AND DUMPS IT ON THE TABLE AND THERE’S DUCT TAPE AND FEW PENS AND PENCILS AND NOTEBOOK PAPER, A MOON BOOT AND THINGS LIKE THAT. OKAY, THIS IS WHAT WE’VE GOT TO WORK WITH. NOW WE GOT TO MAKE THAT CIRCULAR DEVICE FIT IN IN SQUARE DEVICE SO WE CAN GET THE AIR FROM THE LUNAR MODULE COMMUNICATING WITH THE COMMAND MODULE. YOU LOOK AROUND ON THE SPACECRAFT, WHAT WE GOT TO WORK WITH.>> AT THIS POINT THE SPACECRAFT WAS 150 MILLION MILES FROM EARTH. WAS 600 TIMES FARTHER AWAY THAN THE MOON. AT THIS POINT, WELL IN EXCESS OF HALF MILLION TIMES FARTHER THAN ASTRONAUTS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. IT WAS UP TO — ALL WE COULD WORK WITH WAS WHAT WAS THERE AND WE COULD SEND ONES AND ZEROS.>>WHAT DO WE HAVE? WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP?>>MAYBE WE CAN DEMONSTRATE IT.>>I WOULD LOVE TO THAT.>>IS IT JUST GOING TO BE THE TWO OF US?>>NO, WE NEED ASSISTANCE.>>TIME FOR MASON. WE GOT MASON TO HELP US HERE. I HAVE A HIGH FIDELITY MODEL HERE OF THE SPACECRAFT. I SHOULD TELL YOU, THIS ACTUALLY A HIGH MODEL OF A DIFFERENT SPACECRAFT, ONE I WORKED ON CALLED DAWN. WHICH IS NOW CIRCLING IN DWARF PLANET. THIS WAS MADE 4-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER OF A COLLEAGUE OF MINE. THE DAUGHTER IS LAURA RATLIFF. SHE’S GRADUATE OF GEORGETOWN. THE REASON I’M USING ITS IT’S CLOSE ENOUGH TO DS1. IT HAS SOLAR RAYS. THIS IS THE MAIN ANTENNA AND HERE’S THE CAMERA. THAT’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. WE’RE GOING TO ASK MASON HERE TO BE THE EARTH.>>THIS IS NOT THE SCALE. HOLD THAT UP SO EVERYBODY CAN SEE IT. THERE’S EARTH.>>WE NEED THE SUN.>>I SOMETIMES THINK I’M THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. I’LL COME OVER HERE.>>YOUR MOM SAYS YOUR BRIGHT.>>SHE DID ONCE.>>SO, THE SITUATION WAS, DS1, ALL IT COULD DO WAS FIND THE SUN. IT DIDN’T KNOW WHERE EARTH WAS. IT POINTS ITS ANTENNA THERE AT THE SUN AND IT’S JUST DOING THIS. THE WAY WE GOT THE ANTENNA TO EARTH, IT TOOK US TWO MONTHS JUST TO FIGURE THIS OUT. INSTEAD OF HAVING IT ROTATE AROUND THE ANTENNA LIKE THAT, INSTEAD WE SAID, WE KNOW THE SPACECRAFT DOESN’T KNOW, WE KNOW THE ANGLE FROM THE SUN TO THE SPACECRAFT TO THE EARTH. IN THIS CASE, ANGLE FROM BRIAN TO DS1 TO MASON IS SAY 90 DEGREES. INSTEAD OF HAVING A ROTATE LIKE THAT, WE SAY, TURN THIS WAY, TURN THIS WAY AND NOW ROTATE LIKE THAT. IT’S ROTATING LIKE THAT. IT’S STILL SENDING THIS SIGNAL THROUGH THE MAIN ANTENNA AND IT DOESN’T KNOW WHERE EITHER EARTH OR MASON ARE. IT’S DOING THAT. I’M ALSO GOING TO BRING IN HERE JUST FOR ILLUSTRATION, ANOTHER HIGH-TECH DEVICE, FLASH LIGHT. PEOPLE ON TV WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE THIS VERY WELL. TRUST ME, IT’S PROJECTING LIGHT. SPACECRAFT ROTATES, SOMETIMES THIS BEAM OF LIGHT WILL GO OVER EARTH. NOT USING A LASER FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. [LAUGHTER] IT CONTINUES ON. IT’S JUST THIS NARROW BEAM THAT SWEEPS PAST AND GOES AROUND AND THEN COMES BY AGAIN. BECAUSE THERE’S ANOTHER CONSEQUENCE OF THE FAILURE OF THE STAR TRACKER WAS, WE COULDN’T TELL THE SPACECRAFT EXACTLY HOW FAST TO TURN. WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW FAST IT WAS ROTATING NEITHER DID IT. EVERY TIME THIS BEAM WOULD SWEEP PAST EARTH, THIS RADIO BEAM WE WOULD DETECT THE BLIP AT THE DEEP SPACE NETWORK AND THEN WE’D ASK MASON TO SAY, THERE IT IS. THEN GO AROUND AND ROUGHLY AN HOUR LATER, IT WOULD SWEEP PAST AGAIN. DID YOU HEAR IT? THERE IT IS. THE REAL SIGNAL WAS A LOT WEAKER THAN THAT. WE DO THIS A FEW TIMES AND SO THEN WE CAN JUST MEASURE THE RATE AT WHICH THE SPACECRAFT WAS TURNING. THAT WAS THE FIRST STEP. THEN WE WOULD JUST CALCULATE THIS PART PRETTY EASY. WHEN WAS THE NEXT TIME THE ANTENNA IS GOING TO BE POINTED AT EARTH. THE SPACECRAFT WAS SO FAR AWAY THAT RADIO SIGNALS TOOK AROUND 14 MINUTES TO TRAVEL FROM EARTH TO THE SPACECRAFT. LONG WAY EVEN FOR SIGNALS TRAVELING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT. WE WOULD CALCULATE WHEN THE NEXT TIME THE ANTENNA WAS GOING TO BE POINTED AT EARTH, SEND A RADIO SIGNAL TIMED SO THAT JUST WHEN THE ANTENNA WAS POINTED AT EARTH THAT BRIEF MOMENT, THE SIGNAL WOULD GET THERE AND SAY STOP ROTATING. HOWEVER, WE KNEW THE SPACECRAFT CAN’T STOP ON A DIME. WHAT ACTUALLY OVERSHOOT LITTLE BIT. WE CALCULATED THAT — WE TOLD IT TO DO, STOP AND BACK UP. IT WORKED PERFECTLY. FIRST TIME IN TWO MONTH, WE FINALLY HAD THE MAIN ANTENNA POINTED AT MASON.>>VERY GOOD.>>GOOD JOB MASON.>>THANK YOU MASON. [APPLAUSE] MASON WAS VERY BRAVE HERE TODAY GETTING UP ON STAGE. I KNOW LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO DO THAT. IT IS YOURS NOW.>>THERE’S A PICTURE OF DEEP SPACE ONE. HERE’S A PEN FOR DEEP SPACE ONE. GOOD JOB MASON. [APPLAUSE] WHEN YOU COME TO WORK AT JPL, WE EXPECT YOU TO PUT THAT UP ON YOUR WALL AND WEAR THE PEN.>>VERY COOL.>>WE FINALLY HAD THE ANTENNA POINTED AT EARTH. THAT ACTUALLY ALLOWED US TO RESTORE NORMAL COMMUNICATIONS. NOT LIKE YOU WOULD HAVE WITH YOUR HOME INTERNET CONNECTION, SORT OF DIAL UP MODEM SPEED. THAT’S HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH INTERPLANETARY SPACECRAFT.>>I WANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK. I WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU — IF YOU’RE GOING TO GO MEET STUFF, THERE’S A TIME LIMIT. IT’S NOT JUST YOU HAVE EVERYDAY ALL DAY FOR YEARS TO DO THIS.>>THAT’S RIGHT. WE HAD THIS EXOTIC ION PROPULSION SYSTEM. WE WERE — OUR DATE WITH THE COMET WAS IN SEPTEMBER 2001. THE COMET WAS GOING TO BE AT A PARTICULAR PLACE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. THAT’S WHERE WE HAD TO MEET IT. TO GET THERE, WE HAD TO RESUME THRUSTING WITH THE ION PROPULSION SYSTEM, NO LATER THAN JULY 5, 2000. AGAIN, THE STAR FAILED IN NOVEMBER OF ’99. IT TOOK US TWO MONTHS TO GET THE ANTENNA POINTED AT EARTH THEN WE HAD UNTIL JULY. I SHOULD ALSO POINT OUT THAT MAYBE MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW, 100% OF SPACECRAFT PRIOR TO DS1, NOT JUST MOST OF THEM, ALL OF THEM INCLUDING VOYAGER HERE AND ALL SPACECRAFT, COAST MOST OF THE TIME. JUST LIKE EARTH COAST IN ORBIT AROUND THE SUN AND MOON AND AROUND THE EARTH AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. WITH ION PROPULSION YOU HAVE TO THRUST MOST OF THE TIME. WE NEEDED TO GET THRUSTING WITH THAT ION PROPULSION SYSTEM BY JULY TO MAKE OUR DATE WITH THE COMET.>>ESSENTIALLY YOU GOT ONE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON FROM DISASTER TO GIVING THIS THING MOVING AGAIN. IT’S NOT LIKE, OH CRAM THE NIGHT BEFORE AND SUDDENLY IT’S GOOD.>>THAT’S RIGHT. CAN’T PULL AN ALL NIGHTER ON JULY 4th. THIS SYSTEM THAT WE GOT WORKING WAS GREAT. IT WAS VERY LABORIOUS. EVERY TIME WE HAD THE ANTENNA POINTED AT EARTH, THE SPACECRAFT WOULD CONTINUE TO DRIFT AROUND A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE THE STAR TRACKER HAD FAILED. WHEN WE SEE THAT IT WAS DRIFTING BY MEASURING THE RADIO SIGNAL, WE WOULD HAVE TO SEND THE COMMAND TO SAY MOVE A DEGREE THIS WAY OR MOVE TWO DEGREES THAT WAY. WE HAD TO OF A TEAM IN MISSION CONTROL, BASICALLY JOYSTICKING THE SPACECRAFT FROM 150 MILLION MILES AWAY. THINK OF A JOYSTICK WHERE YOU MAKE A MOVE AND IT’S 28 MINUTES BEFORE YOU SEE THE EFFECT BECAUSE OF THE ROUND TRIP RADIO SIGNAL. I SHOULD POINT OUT ONE MORE THING. EVEN APART FROM THAT PROBLEM, HERE’S THE ANTENNA POINTED AT EARTH. SUPPOSED WE WANT TO POINT THE ION ENGINE IN THAT DIRECTION THERE. WELL, YOU POINT IT THERE, YOU CAN’T HAVE THE ANTENNA POINTED AT EARTH ANYMORE. WE COULDN’T DO IT. WE NEEDED TO KEEP THE ANTENNA ON EARTH. THERE WAS NO WAY TO POINT THE ION ENGINE IN THE DIRECTION TO THE COMET. THAT WAS GREAT FOR GETTING STARTED BUT ENTIRELY INADEQUATE FOR CONDUCTING THIS MISSION.>>HOW LONG WERE YOU PLANNING THIS ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTION?>>THAT TOOK US TWO MONTHS. WE GOT THAT IN THE SECOND HALF OF JANUARY OF 2000. WE HAD UNTIL BEGINNING OF JULY TO INVENT A WAY TO FIX A SPACECRAFT THAT BY ALL RIGHTS SHOULD BE DECLARED DEAD.>>YOU HAVE TO PLAY THIS GALACTIC PONG. DID YOU HAVE AN ACE THERE 24 HOURS A DAY?>>AN ACE FOR PEOPLE’S — ACE IS THE GUY OR THE LADY IN MISSION CONTROL WHO ACTUALLY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CLICKING THE MOUSE TO SENDHE SIGNAL FROM MISSION CONTROL JUST A FEW HUNDRED YARDS HERE OUT TO THE DEEP SPACE NETWORK AND SPACECRAFT. NO, WE HAD TWO SMALLER TEAMS. NO MISSION IS STAFFED 24 HOURS A DAY. THERE AREN’T ENOUGH ANTENNAS IN THE DEEP SPACE NETWORK TO DO THAT. SPACECRAFT HAVE TO BE ABLE TO OPERATE ON THEIR OWN. WE WOULD GO THROUGH THIS LABORIOUS PROCEDURE. WE HAD TO GO IT GOING BACK TO POINTING AT THE SUN. WE LOOKED AT THE HYPOCRISY. WHAT DO WE HAVE ON BOARD THE SPACECRAFT THAT CAN SENSE THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT IN WAY OTHER THAN THE SUN SENSORS AND OTHER THAN THE RADIO. THE BEST SOLUTION SEEM TO BE WITH THE CAMERA. CAMERA SEEM LIKE A PRETTY GOOD WAY TO DO IT. IT CAN TE PICTURES. HOW HARD COULD THIS BE? WE GOT A SPACECRAFT THAT MAYBE SHOULD BE DEAD. EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS HARD. WALK YOU THROUGH SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CAMERA, THE STAR TRACKER AND THE CAMERA THE FIRST TO FEEL THE VIEW. HOW MUCH SKY COULD THE STAR TRACKER BE. IF YOU’RE OUT AT NIGHT, THINK OF THE FULL MOON, YOU CAN SEE AN AREA 3 HUGE TIMES THAT — 300 TIMES THAT, THERE’S A PRETTY GOOD CHUNK OF THE SKY. THAT’S BETTER FOR — IT MEANS THE STAR TRACKER IS BETTER IN THAT REGARD. STAR TRACKER CAN SEE FAINTER STARS THAN WE CAN SEE. STARS THAT ARE FOUR TIMES FAINTER. THE CAMERA WASN’T BUILT TO PHOTOGRAPH STARS. IT CAN ONLY SEE STARS COMPARABLE AND BRIGHTNESS TO THE ONES WE CAN SEE. THAT’S A POINT IN FAVOR THE STAR TRACKER. THE PROBLEM WAS, IN GENERAL, WHEE SPACECRAFT, THE CAMERA IS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO BE POINTED AT A RECOGNIZABLE STAR PATTERN. THAT DIDN’T SEEM VERY GOOD. IT TURNS OUT TO BE HARDER THAN THAT. THE STAR TRACKER WAS DESIGNED TO DETERMINE ITS ORIENTATION. IT SENT TO THE MAIN SPACECRAFT COMPUTER, A MATHEMATICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE SPACECRAFT ORIENTATION. YOU’RE POINTED THERE AND ORIENT IT LIKE THIS OR WHATEVER. WHEREAS, ALL THE CAMERA CAN DO WAS TO TAKE PICTURE OF WHATEVER ITS LOOKING AT. THAT DIDN’T DO ANYBODY ANY GOOD. ONCE AGAIN, THAT WAS A THUMB UP IN FAVOR OF THE STAR TRACKER. ONCE AGAIN THE STRACK TRACKER WAS BUILT SPECIFICALLY TO DO THIS. IT WAS DEDICATED TO IT. IT HAD THE CAPABILITY TO DO THIS. EVERY QUARTER OF A SECOND, FOUR TIMES A SECOND IT CAN CALCULATE, IT CAN MEASURE ITS ORIENTATION AND TELL IT TO THE SPACECRAFT COMPUTER. THIS WAS BEFORE THE DAYS OF MODERN DIGITAL CAMERA LIKE EVERYBODY HERE HAS. THE CAMERA ON BOARD THE SPACECRAFT CAN ONLY TAKE A PICTURE, PROCESS IT AND SEND IT TO THE COMPUTER AND HAVE THE COMPUTER OPEN IT ONCE EVERY 30 SECONDS. ONCE AGAIN, STAR TRACKER.>>THE CAMERA HAS STAR TRACKER DOESN’T.>>THE CAMERA HAD ONE MAJOR THING GOING FOR IT. IT WAS A ALIVE. STAR TRACKER WAS DEAD. WE HAD TO COME UP? A WHOLE NEW METHOD TO MAKE THIS WORK AND WITH THE SPACECRAFT THAT’S ALMOST TWICE FAR AWAY AS THE SUN AND WE GOT TO DO IT IN JUST A FEW MONTHS.>>WAS IT COME TIME TO WORK HERE AT JPL.>>COM ISN’T ONE OF THE WORDS THAT COME TO MIND.>>I CAN THINK A LOT OF OTHER ONES.>>I CAN TOO. WE HAD PEOPLE WORKING SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, LONG HOURS. YOU COULD NEVER STOP. YOU COULDN’T REST. YOU COULDN’T WAIT. THIS IS WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO ME. THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLY STRESSFUL. THAT’S MY STRESS METER THERE. IT’S JUST INCREDIBLE. EVERYBODY IN WORKS AT JPL SOLVES PROBLEM. EVERYBODY THAT WORKED ON SPACECRAFT AROUND HERE HARD TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. MOST OF THE HARDEST PROBLEMS THEY HAVE TO SOLVE ARE WHILE THE SPACECRAFT IS ON THE GROUND, FIGURING OUT HOW TO DESIGN AND BUILD AND PLAN OUT HOW YOU’RE GOING TO OPERATE IT. WE HAD THE SPACECRAFT OVER 150 MILLION MILES AWAY WITH THE CLOCK TICKING THERE CONSTANTLY AND WE HAD TO COME UP WITH A WHOLE NEW WAY TO DO THIS.>>YOU SAID TO ME THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SURPRISED THE MOST THAT THE SPACECRAFT WORKS ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THAT SPACECRAFT.>>THAT’S RIGHT. A FRIEND OF MINE SAID THIS. MAYBE HE’S WATCHING. YOU KNOW ALL THE WAYS THINGS CAN GO WRONG. YOU KNOW ALL THE PROBLEMS. ALL THE SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET. ALL THE DIFFICULTIES. AS MUCH AS I DESCRIBED IT HERE, THERE WERE UNCOUNTABLE NUMBER OF PROBLEMS. EVERY TIME WE’D SOLVE ONE, WE DISCOVER FIVE MORE. THE SPACECRAFT WAS GOING TO HAVE TO TRAVEL ANOTHER 650 MILLION-MILES IN 15 MONTHS RELIABLY TO GET TO THE COMET.>>EVERY SOLUTION YOU CREATE CAUSES ANOTHER PROBLEM. YOU’RE RUSHING, YOU’RE TURNING A CAMERA, WHICH IS NOT BUILT — YOU’RE TURNING YOUR SPACECRAFT INTO A DIFFERENT SPACECRAFT.>>THAT’S RIGHT. GENUINELY FELT LIKE BY THE TIME WE HAD DONE THIS, WE WERE FLYING FROM THE ONE WE DESIGNED AND BUILT. WE NOT ONLY HAD TO COME UP WITH NEW SYSTEMS TO WORK ON THE SPACECRAFT, BUT DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO HOW TO FLY THE SPACECRAFT.>>YOU WAKE UP, YOU’RE STRESSED ON AND YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT –>>NO. I WOULDN’T EXACTLY SAY THAT. THAT ASSUMES I SLEPT. [LAUGHTER] IT WAS STRESSFUL. THERE WAS NEITHER TIME NOR ENOUGH RELAXATION TO SLEEP WELL.>>I BET. YOU GET THE STA TRACKER AND CAMERA TURNED INTO A STAR TRACKER.>>THE BASIC IDEA, I DON’T WANT TO GO INTO IT DETAIL, IT’S COMPLICATED, THE BASIC IDEA WAS, WE HAD TO PICK INDIVIDUAL, ISOLATED BRIGHT STARS. ISOLATED BECAUSE WE COULDN’T AFFORD TO LET THE SPACECRAFT MISTAKENLY LOCK TO A NEARBY STAR.>>THESE DISTINCT STARS.>>RIGHT. WE WOULD SELECT THEM. LET’S SAY HERE IS THE ION ENGINE. WE WANT TO POINT THE ENGINE IN THIS DIRECTION. WE WOULD HAVE TO FIND A STAR IN THAT DIRECTION BECAUSE THE CAMERA, SORRY, HERE’S THE CAMERA. IT LOOKS LIKE THIS WAY. THE CAMERA POINTS THERE. WE COULD TELL THE SPACECRAFT, TURN TO APPROXIMATELY THAT LOCATION, START TAKING PICTURES, FIND THE STAR, LOCK ON TO IT AND ONCE IT’S LOCK ON, WE KNOW THE ION ENGINE IS POINTED THERE. THRUST WITH THE ION ENGINE LIKE THAT. WHEN IT’S TIME TO POINT THE ENGINE IN THIS DIRECTION HERE, WE’D PICK A STAR OVER THERE AND TELL THE SPACECRAFT WHAT THE STAR IS, HOW BRIGHT IT IS, APPROXIMATELY HOW TO TURN TO IT. IT WOULD TURN AND THEN IT WOULD DRIFT AROUND AND TAKE PICTURES AND FIND THE STAR AND IT WOULD KNOW THE ION ENGINE WAS POINTED THERE. WHEN IT WAS TIME TO COMMUNICATE WITH EARTH, IF WE WANT THE ANTENNA AND WE’D SAY, THERE’S A STAR UP THERE, TURN AND POINT TO THAT. WE POINT TO THAT STAR AND THEN THE ANTENNA WOULD BE POINTED AT EARTH FOR REGULAR COMMUNICATION SESSION SO WE CAN DO OUR NORMAL MONITORING OF THE SPACECRAFT AND GIVE IT THE NEW INFORMATION TO CONTINUE THE MISSION.>>YOU GET THIS ALL TESTED OUT. YOU GET THIS ALL FINALLY TO A POINT WHERE YOU’RE GOING, THIS IS IT.>>THERE’S NO MORE TIME. IT’S NOW OR NEVER.>>WHEN DOES THAT HAPPEN IF OUR CUTOFF DATE?>>THE FAILURE OCCURRED IN NOVEMBER. WE FIRST GOT THE ANTENNA POINTED TO EARTH IN LATE JANUARY. IN EARLY JUNE, WE TRANSMITTED THE SOFTWARE TO THE SPACECRAFT USING THE SAME METHOD USING FOR HALF A YEAR. DURING THE SPACECRAFT COASTED 350 MILLION LES BUT NOT WHERE WE NEEDED TO BE TO GET TO THE COMET. WE HAD THE SOFTWARE ON BOARD THE SIDEWALK IN THE SECOND WEEK OF JUNE. TURNED IT ON, ACTIVATED IT, IT WORKED GREAT. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN MONTHS, WE HAD THE SPACECRAFT OPERATING IN KIND OF A NORMAL WAY. WE RESCUED THIS SPACECRAFT. IF YOU HEARD OF THE SAFE MODE, I DON’T THINK NO JPL SPACECRAFT HAS NO U.S., NO NASA SPACECRAFT EVER SPENT SO LONG ESSENTIALLY IN SAFE MODE AND THEN BEEN RESCUED.>>YOU GOT THIS — SPACECRAFT WAS DESCRIBED FOR 11-MONTH PRIMARY MISSION.>>THAT’S RIGHT. ONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES WE WERE RUNNING LOW ON A RESOURCE WE HAD ON THE SPACECRAFT. SPACECRAFT CARRIES HYDROSEEN. THAT’S HOW THE SPACECRAFT FIGURES OUT WHERE IT’S POINTED AND BUT IT NEEDS TO CONTROL ITS ORIENTATION. IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH JUST NO KNOW IT. IT HAS THESE LITTLE THRUSTERS AND IF YOU SQUIRT SOME OUT OF THIS THRUSTER HERE THE SPACECRAFT ROTATES LIKE THAT. IF YOU SQUIRT SOME OUT OF THIS ONE, IT ROTATES LIKE THAT. IF YOU KEEP DOING IT OUT OF HERE AND HERE, YOU CONTROL THE ORIENTATION LIKE THIS. THAT’S HOW SPACECRAFT VOYAGER HERE AND DEEP SPACE 1. THAT’S HOW THEY CONTROL TIR ORIENTATION. WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH HYDROZEEN FOR THIS THREE-YEAR MISSION. WE USED A LOT OF EXTRA HYDROZEEN DURING THIS RESCUE. THE SPACECRAFT ACTUALLY DIFFERENT HAVE ENOUGH HYDROZEEN TO CONTROL ITS ORIENTATION. WE HAD TO COME UP WITH ANOTHER FIX. THERE WERE A BUNCH OF OTHER PROBLEMS.>>TALKING THREE OR FOUR IN THIS CONVERSATION.>>WHAT HAPPENED WHEN RADIATION FROM THE SUN FLOODED THE CAMERA AND IT GOOD CONFUSED. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT LOST TRACK OF THE STAR. THERE WERE LOT OF OTHER THINGS. FOR THIS PROBLEM FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTROL ITS ORIENTATION, IT ATTORNEYS OUT WHEN WE THRUST WITH THE ION PROPULSION SYSTEM, IT ACTUALLY — IT’S RESPONSIBLE FOR SPENDING THE SPACECRAFT SOME PLACE. IT DOESN’T HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO CONTROL THE ORIENTATION. I TOLD YOU A FEW MINUTES AGO, WE THRUST MOST OF THE TIME. WE DON’T THRUST ALL THE TIME. WE HAD TO GET ON TO A TRAJECTORY WHERE THE SPACECRAFT AND THE COMET WERE HEADING TO THE SAME POINT. WE ACCOMPLISHED THAT IN MAY 2001. WE WEREN’T GOING TO GET TO THAT POINT UNTIL SEPTEMBER. IN PRINCIPLE THE SPACECRAFT AND COMET COULD HAVE COASTED TO THE SAME POINT. WE COULDN’T AFFORD THE COAST BECAUSE WE COULDN’T AFFORD THE HYDROZINE. WHEN YOU THRUST YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE. WE THRUST AT A LOW LEVEL WHICH I CALLED IMPULSE POWER AND PEOPLE WHO DON’T GET THAT, YOU NEED TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK. WHICH IS GO HOME AND WATCH STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES. FOR THE REST OF YOU, THAT’S THRUSTING AT A LOW THROTTLE LEVEL. IT’S LOW. WE THRUSTED IMPULSE POWER LIKE THIS, LOW THROTTLE LEVEL. WE DIDN’T DO TOO MUCH DAMAGE. THRUST LIKE THIS FOR A WEEK. WE THRUST IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FOR A WEEK. WE’D THRUST IN THIS DIRECTION FOR A WEEK. THEN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. BASICALLY I CAN’T TURN THE SPACECRAFT FAST ENOUGH. INSTEAD OF FLYING TO THE COMET LIKE THIS, WE ZIG ZAGGED LIKE THAT TACKING FOR FIVE MONTHS. NEVER BEING EXACTLY ON TARGET FOR THE COMET BUT CONSTANTLY CANCELING OUT. NEVER GETTING TOO FAR OFF COURSE SO WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ION PROPULSION SYSTEM.>>WHEN I’M DRIVING FROM NEW YORK TO L.A., THERE’S A LOT OF ZIG ZAGGING.>>YOU PROBABLY DON’T ZIG AND ZAG AS DS1 DID. IT RAISES ANOTHER POINT, WHICH IS ALL MISSION, WHEN WE TARGET A DESIGNATION FAR IN THE SOOTHER — SOLAR SYSTEM, AS YOU GET CLOSER, YOU HAVE TO TWEAK OR ADJUST THE TRAJECTORY. CLOSER YOU GET TO REFINE IT. JUST LIKE WHEN YOU DOING YOUR DRIVE FROM LOS ANGELES TO NEW YORK, YOU DON’T AIM FOR THE PARKING PLACE. YOU AIM FOR THE LOS ANGELES TO NEW YORK. ONLY WHEN YOU GET CLOSE TO YOUR PARKING PLACE YOU DO THE FINAL REFINEMENT. THAT’S WHAT WE WERE DOING IN THE FINAL WEEKS BEFORE THE ENCOUNTER.>>YOU’RE APPROACHING IN — WHEN IS THE SCHEDULED ENCOUNTER DATE?>>WE HAD TO GET TO THE COMET — 15-MONTH JOURNEY. WE HAD TO GO ALL 653 MILLION MILES. WE HAD TO GET THERE ON SEPTEMBE. ONE OF OUR MANEUVERS WAS NOT TOO LONG BEFORE THAT, IT WAS ON A TUESDAY. SEEM LIKE A DAY LIKE ANY OTHER. I WAS AT HOME THAT MORNING GETTING READY TO COME TO WORK. FRIEND OF MINE WHO IS ON MY TEAM, CALLED ME THAT MORNING AND SAID, AIRCRAFT JUST HIT THE TWIN TOWERS IN NEW YORK. THE UNITED STATES IS UNDER ATTACK. LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE, I COULDN’T REALLY PROCESS THAT. WE HAD A JOB TO DO. WE HAD TO DO A MANEUVER THAT DAY IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SPACECRAFT ON COURSE FOR THE COMET. AT FIRST YOU DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM. IT DIDN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. I TOLD THEM TO GO TO WORK AND WE’RE GOING TO FOCUS ON THIS TRAJECTORY CORRECTION MANEUVER. I RACED OVER HERE AT JPL, EVERYBODY HERE TODAY KNOWS WHEN YOU APPROACH JPL YOU DRIVE ON OAK BOULEVARD. IT’S ONE LONG NARROW STREET. IT WAS JAMMED WITH CARS. IT KNOCKED DOWN OUR SECURITY FRIENDS WHO WERE NOT LETTING ANYBODY IN IT DIDN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR EXCUSE WAS. THE COUNTRY WAS UNDER ATTACK AND GO HOME. THERE WAS NO EXCUSE. THE GUARDS WERE NOT GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN MY STORY. LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE, I TRIED TO TURN AROUND IN NARROW ROAD AND GET HOME AS QUICKLY AS I COULD. THIS WAS BEFORE THE TIME OF TEXTING AND EASY TELECOMMUNICATIONS TEXTING BY PHONE. WE SET UP AMONG ALL THE TEAM MEMBERS, MOST OF US WERE AT HOME, TWO OF THE PEOPLE HAD COME IN EARLY THAT DAY BEFORE THE LOCKDOWN. ONE GUY JUST WORKED DIFFERENT HOURS FROM THE REST OF US. SOMEBODY ELSE CAME IN FOR SOME OTHER REASON THAT I DON’T REMEMBER. HE COME IN BEFORE THE WELCOMEDOWN. THEY WEREN’T COMFORTABLE DOING THIS. THEY DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT BY THEMSELVES. WE HAD EVERYBODY SET UP A TELEPHONE TAG SYSTEM BASICALLY. I HAD ONE PHONE TO THE NEXT GUY IN LINE AND ONE PHONE TO THE GUYS IN MISSION CONTROL HAPPEN TO BE TWO MEN. WE TALKED THESE TWO NERVOUS PEOPLE THROUGH HOW TO SEND THE COMMANDS INTO D DEEP SPACE NETWORK. TO SEND THE COMMANDS TO THE SPACECRAFT AND THIS WHOLE TIME YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT MY COUNTRY IS UNDER ATTACK. WE HAD TO STAY FOCUSED. THERE WAS UNAMBIGUOUS NEED TO GET THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE SPACECRAFT SO IT COULD EXECUTE THIS MANEUVER TO CATCH UP WITH THE COMET.>>TO GET THERE BY SEPTEMBER 22nd.>>I JUST REALIZED, THE ANNIVERSARY OF THAT IS COMING UP.>>IT REALLY IS COMING UP. VERY SOON. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. [LAUGHTER]>>THANKS, YOU TOO.>>YOU GET THERE. YOU HAVE THIS SUCCESSFUL MANEUVER AND YOU’RE APPROACHING. THERE’S THE COMET. YOU WORKED SO HARD TO GET TO THIS POINT. IT’S NOT OVER YET. CHALLENGES AHEAD. I CAN’T GO INTO ALL OF THEM. JUST A COUPLE HER TO ILLUSTRATE. LET ME REMIND YOU, WHAT WE COULD SEE FROM EARTH IS THIS BIG COMA, THOUSANDS, THOUSANDS MILES ACROSS. BIGGER THAN EARTH. THE SPACECRAFT HAD TO PLUNGE IN THAT AND FIND THE NUCLEUS ON ITS OWN. WE DIDN’T KNOW IF THE NUCLEUS IS GOING TO BE DARK OR IS IT GOING TO BE BRIGHT AGAINST THE DARKER BACKGROUND TO SPACE? THE SPACECRAFT HAD TO FLY INTO THE COMA AND FIND THE NUCLEUS ON ITS OWN. LET ME REMIND YOU, IT ALSO HAD TO KEEP TURNING OCCASIONALLY TO POINT THE CAMERA AT A STAR TO SORT OF FIX ITS ATTITUDE THEN IT WOULD TURN BACK TO THE NUCLEUS TO LOOK AROUND AND IT WILL TURN TO A REFERENCE STAR.>>SO YOU GOING BACK AND FORTH.>>IT WAS GOING TO BE ON ITS OWN IN THERE. THIS WAS WAY TOO FAR FOR US TO BE ABLE TO JOYSTICK IT. IT COULDN’T WASTE TIME POINT WITH THE ANTENNA AT EARTH. BUT THERE WERE CHALLENGES BEYOND EVEN THAT. IT WAS FLYING THROUGH THE COMA AT 37,000 MILES PER HOUR. I HOPED THAT’S FASTER THAN YOU DROVE ON OAK GROVE DRIVE TODAY. IT’S PLUNGING INTO THIS COMA WHICH HAS NOT ONLY LOTS OF GAS BUT DUST IN IT AS WELL. IT’S FLYING THROUGH THIS CLOUD POTENTIALLY FILLED WITH DUST. IT’S NOT AS DENSE AS THE BEACH. IT HAS MANY OF THESE PARTICLES. AT THIS VELOCITY, ONE PARTICLE, SMALLER THAN THE HEAD OF A PIN, D IMPART AS MUCH ENERGY TO THE SPACECRAFT AS A BOWLING BALL DOES WHEN IT HITS THE PINS. THAT’S NOT GOOD FOR THE SPACECRAFT.>>YOU SAVEDDED FROM STAR TRACKER AND ZIGGING AND ZAGGING. NOW YOU’RE GETTING READY TO GO IN THROUGH THE COMA AND SPECK OF DUST COULD END IT ALL.>>RIGHT.>>HOW DID IT GO?>>THE REALITY IS, WE DIDN’T EXPECT IT TO BE SUCCESSFUL. SHOULD NOT BE SUCCESSFUL. IN FACT, IT DIDN’T GO AS EXPECTED. IT WAS INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL. [LAUGHTER]>>YOU CAN CLAP FOR THAT. [APPLAUSE]>>IT’S NICE THAT YOU APPLAUD. AFTER IT WORKED, TO ME THE BIGGEST RISK, THERE WERE TONS IT OF RISK. THE BIGGEST RISK OF THE SEISMIC RISK TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FROM THE APPLAUSE THAT ERUPTED IN MISSION CONTROL RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET THERE. IT WAS PRETTY SCARY. HERE’S THIS INCREDIBLE IMAGE THAT WE GOT. WE GOT THIS SHOWED MORE DETAIL IN A COMET THAN WE HAD EVER SEEN. THIS IS THE NUCLEUS. FEW MILES ACROSS. WHEN WE GOT THIS, IT WAS STILL FRET NEAT. YOU CAN SEE THE SHAPE. MAYBE IT LOOKS LIKE A DRUMSTICK OR A BOWLING PIN. THIS TURNED OUT TO BE THREE AND A HALF BETTER THAN BEST CASE OBJECTIVE WHAT WE HOPE TO GET. WE’RE NOT GOING TAKE THE TIME HERE. FIRST TIME WE SAW NUCLEUS OF A COMET TO DO GEOLOGY ON IT. YOU CAN SEE THESE TWO PIECES THEY ARE NOT STUCK TOGETHER LIKE THIS. IT’S MORE LIKE THIS. WHEN THIS PICTURE CAME INTO MISSION CONTROL, THAT EVENT WAS — THAT WAS PRETTY SPECIAL. WE’VE BEEN LIVING UNDER A DARK CLOUD FOR A LONG TIME. JUST IN THE TIME IN PART OF THE ENCOUNTER, ROUGHLY A HALF HOUR AROUND IT, THE SPACECRAFT MENTIONED THIS TO YOU, JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO. SPACECRAFT HAD 4700 INSTRUCTIONS AND PARAMETERS THAT ALL HAD TO BE RIGHT IN THAT HALF HOUR. EVEN ONE OF THEM WAS WRONG WOULD HAVE WORKED. THAT’S NOT TALKING ABOUT THE RESCUE. I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE 15 MONTHS OF GETTING THERE. JUST IN THE HALF HOUR. THERE WERE SO MANY TIMES THAT I THOUGHT, IF JUST ONE OF THEM IS WRONG, I’M GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE THINKING IF ONLY WE GOTTEN THAT ONE RIGHT.>>YOU’VE BEEN LIVING IN THIS?>>UNTIL THAT PICTURE SHOWED UP. WHEN THE PICTURE SHOWED UP, TO ME, IT WAS THIS. EVERYBODY — THIS IS MY REPRESENTATION. EVERYBODY IN MISSION CONTROL, WE JUST WENT TO A HAPPY PLACE. [LAUGHTER] THIS TO ME IS WHAT IT FELT LIKE. MY STRESSOMETER WENT WAY DOWN. I LIKE TO THINK OF MYSELF AS BEING OF AT LEAST AVERAGE ELOQUENCE. FOR THREE HOURS AFTER THIS HAPPENED, THE ONLY THING I CAN SAY EVERY 30 SECONDS WAS, I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW INCREDIBLY COOL THIS IS. ONE OF MY FRIENDS — THE SAME GUY WORKPLAC — WHO CALLED IN ON SEPTEMBER 11th. WE STOOD OUT ON MISSION CONTROL AND CRIED. I FEEL THE SAME THING AGAIN. [APPLAUSE] JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. ANOTHER ONE OF MY FRIENDS ON THE TEAM, WE WERE STANDING TOGETHER, TALKING ABOUT IT. THIS WAS HOURS LATER. WE SAID TO EACH OTHER, I WANT TO HUG YOU. WE JUST HUGGED. THIS WAS PRETTY SPECIAL. THIS WAS A HIGH POINT. SERIOUSLY THIS HAPPENED SEPTEMBER 2001. THIS WAS A HIGH POINT OF MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER. AS A LIFELONG SPACE ENTHUSIST. YOU’VE ALL SEEN MY FRIENDS IN COLLEAGUES AND OTHERS IN MISSION CONTROL IN TELEVISED EVENTS THIS IS BECAUSE OF 9/11, YOU DIDN’T HEAR ABOUT IT AND WORLD NEWS WAS FOCUSED ON THAT. YOU SEE PEOPLE IN MISSION CONTROL JUMPING AND HUGGING. THERE’S NOBODY THERE FELT ANY MORE EXCITED, GRATIFIED. WE DID AFTER THIS RESCUE.>>CAN WE SEE SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE.>>LET’S SKIP AHEAD. THERE’S COMMON STUFF HERE I DON’T THINK WE HAVE TIME FOR. QUICKLY SHOW YOU IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT AFTERWARDS, THE TRAJECTORY WE TOOK. I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOME OF THE PEOPLE ON THE TEAM. I’M UP HERE GETTING TO SHARE THIS WITH US. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DID IT. HERE’S THIS PICTURE HERE, THIS WAS TAKEN BEFORE THAT SAME DAY BEFORE THE COMET ENCOUNTER. THIS WAS TAKEN AFTER. [LAUGHTER] SOME OF THESE ON OTHER DAYS. THIS WAS ALSO AFTER. THIS WAS A GREAT TEAM. ON HALF OF ALL YOU, WE WERE DOING THIS. EVERYBODY THAT LOOKS UP AT THE NIGHT SKY AND WONDERS. EVERYBODY PARTICIPATES IN THIS.>>DO YOU SEE SEE THIS TEAM?>>I DO. I STILL WORK WITH SOME OF THEM. THE ONES I DON’T WORK WITH EVERYDAY, I PASS OUTSIDE HERE AT THE MALL. EVERY FIVE YEARS, WE HAVE A PARTY ANNIVERSARY OF LAUNCH. WE HAD ONE NOT TOO LONG AGO. WE STILL GET TOGETHER. I KNOW THERE ARE SOME HERE TODAY, FUN TO SEE RICH AND JOHN AND A FEW OTHER PEOPLE. WE SHARE SOMETHING PRETTY SPECIAL. AT THE END OF THE MISSION, I WANT TO SHOW YOU ONE MORE PICTURE, ACTUALLY THIS IS JUST ANOTHER PICTURE OF OUR RESCUE TEAM JUST STANDN THE STEPS ACROSS THE MALL THERE. AT THE END OF THE MISSION, WE JUST GAVE SORT OF ONE LAST FAREWELL SALUTE LOOKING UP AT THE SKY TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE TEAM. THAT WAS OUR LAST PICTURE OF THE TEAM ON THEAST DAY WE COMMUNICATED WITH THE SPACECRAFT AT THE END OF THE MISSION. THAT’S OUR STORY. [APPLAUSE]>>WE’RE GOING TO OPEN UP FOR QUESTIONS FOR MARK. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION, PLEASE STEP UP TO THE MICROPHONE. IF YOU WATCHING ONLINE, QUESTIONS ARE COMING UP NOW. I WILL OPEN THIS UP REAL QUICK WITH, DO YOU STILL HAVE NIGHTMARE ABOUT THIS? [LAUGHTER]>>ACTUALLY I DO. I ACTUALLY STILL CENTRAL STUDENE STUDENT ANXIETY DREAM. I HAD A DREAM THAT I WAS IN THE THIRD GRADE, I MISSED CLASSES, I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I SUPPOSED TO BE, I HAVEN’T DONE HOMEWORK. I STILL REGULARLY HAVE DREAMS IT OR MORE COMMONLY, WE RESCUED IT. WE’RE HEADING FOR IT COMET. WE’RE NOT PREPARED FOR THE ENCOUNTER. WAIT A SECOND, I THINK THE ENCOUNTER WAS AN HOUR AGO, WE NEVER FINISHED PREPARING. AM I SUPPOSED TO BE AT JPL AND MISSION CONTROL AND I’M AT HOME. I STILL HAVE THOSE ANXIETY DREAMS. I WAS WAKE UP AND GO BACK TO THAT HAPPY PLACE.>>IF WE DON’T GET A CHANCE TO GET TO EVERYBODY TODAY, MARK WILL STICK AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES. BE HAPPY TO TALK FOR MORE. FIRST QUESTION.>>THANK YOU FOR THIS. TWO QUESTIONS. DO YOU HAVE A WORKING THEORY AS TO WHY THIS STAR TRACKER FAILED? SECOND, DAMAGE THAT YOU SHOWED THE COMET, IT REMINDS ME OF 2014MU69. DO YOU THINK THIS IS A CONTACT BINARY OR SOMETHING THAT FORMED SIMILARLY TO THAT?>>THE FIRST QUESTION, EVERYBODY HEARD IT, DO WE HAVE IDEA WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STAR TRACKER. IN SHORT, NO. THE STAR TRACKER WASN’T ONE OF OUR NEW TECHNOLOGIES. ONCE WE DETERMINED THAT IT WASN’T WORKING, WE WERE FOCUSED ON SAVING THE SPACECRAFT AND RESCUING THE SPACECRAFT. WE DID HAVE A SEPARATE GROUP OF PEOPLE TO LOOK AT ALL THE TELEMETRY FROM THE SPACECRAFT AND WE SENT INSTRUCTIONS TO RUN DIAGNOSTIC TESTS. JPL AND NASA GOES THROUGH A FORMAL PROCESS TO INVESTIGATE THINGS LIKE THIS. THE CONCLUSION WAS, IT JUST CRAPPED OUT. [LAUGHTER] OTHER QUESTION I WILL REPHRASE IT. EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE NEW HORIZON SPACECRAFT FLEW BY AN OBJECT IN THE BELT, LARGEST OBJECT IN THE BELT CALLED PLUTO. THAT IS TWO OBJECTS OF DIFFERENT SIZES STUCK TOGETHER. THIS SEEMS TO BE A THEME IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. BERELLIFULS EARLY ONE TO BE DISCOVERED. MORE AND MORE WERE FORMED USING THE WORD YOU DID. CONTACT BINARY. TWO OBJECTS THAT SOME POINT IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM HISTORY CAME SMASH APART. SLOWLY ENOUGH, PERHAPS TO JOIN AND STAY JOINED LIKE THAT. THIS PROVIDES VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT PROCESSES FOR HOW THESE SO CALLED SMALL BODIES. THAT PICTURE I SHOWED YOU IS ONLY FIVE MILES TO THE END. HOW THESE SMALL BODIES FORM AND WE’RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM FROM THAT.>>WE’RE GOING TO GO ONLINE. NEIL S HAS NASA BECOME MORE WILLING TO FUND MORE CHEAP, RRISKY MISSIONS AFTER DS1?>>IT HAS. WE’RE INVESTING YOUR PERSONAL TAX DOLLARS AND MY TAX DOLLARS AS WELL. YOU HAVE TO MANAGE THE RISK. YOU CAN’T TAKE IRRESPONSIBLE RISKS. BY THE SAME TOKEN, WE RECOGNIZED THAT NOT — WE CAN’T AFFORD TO SPEND A BILLION OR BILLION DOLLARS ON EVERY MISSION. WHEN YOU SPEND BILLION DOLLARS, YOU GET A FABULOUS RETURN. NASA HAS A BALANCED PROGRAM FROM THE BIG EXPENSIVE MISSIONS NOW TO THE SMALLER RISKIER MISSIONS WHERE YOU TAKE MORE RESPONSIBLE RISK. I THINK THAT’S PAYING OFF VERY WELL FOR NASA.>>GREAT.>>DOES THE SPACECRAFT HAVE REACTION WHEEL FOR ORIENTATION? ALSO, COULD YOU EXPLAIN LITTLE MORE HOW YOU USED THE THRUSTER TO CONTROL ORIENTATION?>>FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, HE REFERRED TO A GUY CALLED REACTION WHEELS, WHICH IS LIKE GYROSCOPES. THEY ARE DISKS WHICH YOU SPIN ELECTRICALLY. BY CHANGE THE SPEED AT WHICH YOU SPIN THESE DISKS YOU CAN CONTROL THE ORIENTATION OF THE SPACECRAFT. SOME SPACECRAFT CARRY THEM BUT DEEP SPACE ONE DID NOT. AS A BRIEF ASIDE, A MISSION THAT I FINISHED WORKING ON, THIS ONE THAT’S ORBITING DWARF PLANET, IT USED IT BECAUSE WE TESTED IT ON DEPEND SPACE ONE. DID HAVE THESE REACTION WHEELS AND THEY ALL FAILED. WE GOT TO HAVE A ATHER THING OF TESTIM — IT BROKE TOO. JUST BRIEFLY, THE OTHER QUESTION I THINK YOU’RE ASKING HOW WE USE, IN ENGINE TO CONTROL THE ORIENTATION. ION ENGINE WAS NOT FIXED. S IT MOU MOUNTED — IT WAS MOUND ON A GIMBLE.>>ANOTHER ONLINE ONE REAL QUICK. THIS IS ONE YOU CAN SUMMARIZE REALLY QUICK. WHAT WAS THE MAIN TAKE AWAYS AND BENEFITS. THIS IS FROM JOE, BENEFITS TO HUMANITY FROM THIS MISSION?>>THE BENEFITS TO HUMAN KIND FROM THE MISSION, I THINK THERE ARE SEVERAL. ONE OF THE BENEFITS, YOU SAID TO BE QUICK. YOU ASKED THE WRONG GUY FOR A QUICK ANSWER. ONF THEM IS THE KIND OF THING I SHOWED IN THAT FIRST PICTURE. WE HAVE SPACECRAFT OUT AMONG THE STARS. EVEN WHEN HUMAN KIND DEMONSTRATES SOME OF ITS WORST ATTRIBUTES, LIKE IT DID ON 9/11, WE ALSO CAN DEMONSTRATE SOME OF OUR BEST. WE CAN RISE ABOVE THINGS. I THINK EVERYBODY SHARES IN THIS THING SERIOUSLY. I’M PROUD TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY AND A CULTURE THAT CAN INVEST IN LEARNING ABOUT THE MYSTERIES OF THE COSMOS. WE TAKE ARE THE BEST OF HUMAN KIND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO UNDERTAKE NOBLE MISSIONS THAT NURTURE OUR SOULS AND TO TEACH US ABOUT THE COSMOS EVERYBODY THAT FELT LONGING TO KNOW THE UNIVERSE TO CARRY OUT A BOLD ADVENTURE FAR FROM HOME. EVERYBODY LOOKED AT THE NIGHT SKY AND WONDERED — THIS IS WHAT I THINK. EVERYBODY PARTICIPATES IN A MISSION LIKE THIS. I THINK THERE’S REAL VALUE. THIS IS REAL SIGNS. WE’RE NOT JUST SAYING MAYBE THIS WORKS THIS WAY AND THAT WAY. WE DON’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP. THE REAL TEST IS, CAN YOULY MORE THAN A BILLION MILES TO A COMET, GET THE DATA AND LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT THE SOLAR SYSTEM FROM IT. CAN WE COMMIT TO UNDERTAKING THESE ADVENTURES AND IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY LIKE IN GALAXY QUEST, NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER SURRENDER. WHICH IS WORDS TO LIVE BY. WE DO THAT. I THINK THAT’S THE KIND OF THING. OF COURSE THERE ARE LOT OF SPECIFIC LESSONS. DON’T LET YOUR STAR TRACKER FAIL. TO ME THESE ARE SOME OF THE BIG KINDS OF THINGS THAT ARE VALUE TO HUMAN KIND THAT I THINK ENRICH ALL OF US. THAT’S WHAT I THINK. [APPLAUSE]>>SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURES QUESTION WITH TWO PARTS. WHAT SORT OF MISSION DOES ION PROPULSION MAKES THE MOST SENSE. IF ION PROPULSION IS USED, DOES THAT DRIVE YOU TOWARDS HIGH GAIN ANTENNA AND CAMERAS.>>WHAT KIND OF MISSIONS IS ION PROPULSION SUITABLE FOR. ANY MISSION WHERE YOU NEED TO DO A LOT MORE MANEUVERING, LOT OF THRUSTING VERY HIGH VELOCITY. OTHER MISSION THAT I REFERRED TO, DAWN, WHICH I JUST WORK ON IS THE ONLY SPACECRAFT EVER IN MORE THAN 60 YEARS OF EXPLORING THE SOLAR SYSTEM. ONLY SPACECRAFT WE SEND A SOLAR SYSTEM DESTINATION, VESTA, BROKE OUT OF ORBIT AND WENT TO DWARF PLANET SERIES AND ORBIT IT. IT’S THE ONLY SPACECRAFT EVER TO ORBIT TO EXTRA TERRESTRIAL DESTINATIONS. THAT MISSION WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH CONVENTIONAL CHEMICAL PROPULSION. JPL RIGHT NOW IS WORKING ON ANOTHER MISSION CALLED PSYCHE WHICH WILL LAUNCH IN AUGUST OF 2022, FLY TO THE MAIN ASTEROID BELT AGAIN AND THE FIRST ONE TO GET TO DWARF PLANET SERIES IS GOING TO ORBIT AN OBJECT CALLED PSYCHE WHICH WE BELIEVE TO BE THE M METAL CORE OF A PLANET THT BROKE UP. IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH CONVENTIONAL PROPULSION. IT’S ALSO BEING CONSIDERED FOR FUTURE MISSIONS TO MARS WHERE YOU WANT TO BRING A SAMPLE BACK FROM MARS. WE CAN’T DO THAT WITH CONVENTIONAL P BRIEFLY YOU SAID, UNIT DIRECTIONAL. IT’S NOT UNIT DIRECTIONAL AT ALL. YOU CAN POINT TO SPACECRAFT ANY DIRECTION YOU WANT TO POINT THE ION ENGINE. IT’S A LITTLE TECHNICAL FOR DISCUSSING HERE. IT’S CONVENIENT BUT BY NO MEANS REQUIRED ABOUT DS1 DIDN’T HAVE ONE AND DAWN DIDN’T HAVE ONE AND PSYCHE DIDN’T HAVE ONE. IT MIGHT BE MORE CONVENIENT BUT ARTICULATE HIGH GAIN ANTENNAS HAVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS. IT MEANS AN ANTENNA THAT YOU CAN INDEPENDENTLY MOVE ON THE SPACECRAFT.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>WE’VE GOT TIME FOR ONE LAST QUESTION. IF YOU’RE IN LINE IN THIS FORMAT, WE CAN DO ONE QUICK WRAP UP.>>THANKS FOR THE GREAT TALK. WHEN THE STAR TRACKER FAILED, YOU MENTIONED THAT LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT THIS WAS THE END OF THE MISSION. HOW DID YOU CONVINCE PEOPLE WORKING FOR YOU AND PEOPLE YOU WORKED FOR AND PEOPLE YOU WORKED WITH, THAT IT WAS WORTH PURSUING INTO THE MISSION. IT WASN’T PRIME MISSION, IT WAS EXTENDED. YOU COULD EASILY CUT YOUR LOSSES AND NOT CONTINUE. HOW DID YOUR POSTURE TOWARD THE RISK CHANGE ONCE YOU DECIDED TO GO ON.>>YOU’RE RIGHT. EVERYBODY COULD HAVE SAID JUST END IT. LET IT REST ON ITS LAURELS. WE PROJECTED UNREALISTICALLY OPTIMISTIC ASSESSMENT. THIS THING IS FATAL. WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING HERE. TO MY TEAM, IT WAS IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, LET’S REVIEW GALAXY QUEST, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER. IWOULDN’T IT BE CALL IF WE HAD THAT. WE CAN DO THIS. LET’S NOT GIVE UP NOW. BECAUSE WE ALREADY HAD SOME FUNDING FOR DOING, OBVIOUSLY, A RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO IS NOT TO COMMIT TO GIVING US ALL THAT. BECAUSE THERE WAS SOME AVAILABLE. WE ASKED FOR ENOUGH TO GET THE MAIN ANTENNA POINTED TO EARTH. THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO DIAGNOSE THE STAR TRACKER, TO GIVE US A SHOT AT CONTINUING. ANOTHER THING I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO TALK ABOUT HERE, TWO DAYS BEFORE THE FAILURE, WE HAD TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF OUR ADVANCE TECHNOLOGY CAMERA TO TAKE HIGH QUALITY INFRARED SPECTRA OF MARS. THEY WERE ON BOARD THE SPACECRAFT AND STRANDED THERE BECAUSE WE COULD ONLY SEND THEM DOWN THROUGH THE MAIN ANTENNA. LET US JUST SEE IF WE CAN DO THIS. THEN WE’LL GET THOSE DATA DOWN. WE’LL DIAGNOSE THE STAR TRACKER WHERE WE KNOW WHAT THE DIAGNOSIS WAS NOW AND BY THEN, MAYBE WE’LL THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE WE CAN DO. IT WAS THIS INCREMENTAL PROCESS. IT DIDN’T COST A LOT. WE HAD A VERY SMALL TEAM. PERHAPS UNIQUELY SMALL I’M NOT SURE. CERTAINLY VERY SMALL. THERE WAS NOT A LOT OF MONEY. DS1 BY ITS NATURE, ITS GOAL WAS TO TAKE THE RISK SO SUBSEQUENT MISSIONS DIDN’T HAVE TO. IT WAS A RISK WE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT. NASA AND JPL WERE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF OUR ATTEMPT TO DO THIS. IT PAID OFF. THANKS.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THAT’S ALL THE TIME THAT WE HAVE FOR QUESTIONS. ONE LAST YOUTUBE COMMENT. IT’S SWEET THAT YOU HELD ON TO THAT PHONE MODEL FOR OVER 12 YEARS. [LAUGHTER] LET’S THANK LAURA AGAIN FOR MAKING THAT MODEL. THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE FOR TONIGHT. PLEASE JOIN US IN OCTOBER. IT’S OTHER 95% OF THE UNIVERSE. WE’LL TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO DARK ENERGY AND DARK MATTER. THERE ARE SO MANY MISSIONS THAT WE URGE YOU TO LOOK AT OF THESE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED. MARK EXPRESSED WITH HIS TEAM, THERE’S SO MANY BRILLIANT PEOPLE WORKING ON ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT THINGS THAT GO — THIS WAS ONE AMAZING BEAUTIFUL AND INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT WE FIXED. GO DO YOUR RESEARCH AND GO LEARN ABOUT THESE OTHER THINGS. LET’S THANK DR. RAYMOND ONE LAST TIME. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US. SEE YOU NEXT TIME. THANK YOU FOLKS.




Comments
  1. I love the counter "oh, no no no no no – that's why we love you, Marc." And Marc is a skilled presenter himself; repeating the audience question so that 1.) everyone can clearly hear the question, and 2.) he and the audience all understand as to his interpretation of the question that he is about to give an answer to, is so often skipped in the recent seminars I've attended.

  2. 1:09:00
    Whenever someone asks what does space exploration benefit to mankind I think about how the Earth is going to be unlivable in 500 million to a billion years due to the sun getting hotter. When it comes time to leave we cant just hop in rockets and go. We need technology to keep advancing to get us out of here.

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