The Blog of Ken.

from August 7, 2012

Quotes from the First Curiosity News Conference

Just a couple of things that were said during the first chaotic, late-night news conference after Curiosity landed on Mars.

“Eight years of tension… released!” – Unknown Engineer

“The money – two and a half billion dollars – we don’t put it in the rover and send it to Mars. We spend it here on Earth.” – John Grotzinger, Project Manager

“John and I have a bet as to how long it will take to get to Mount Sharp. My version of the surface mission is that it’s like going on a family vacation and driving from here to Chicago, except for your family has 400 scientists who want to stop and look at every fossilized whatever they can find.” – Richard Cook, Deputy Project Manager

“John’s going to search for the biggest ball of twine in Gale Crater” – Peter Theisinger, Project Manager

“There are no inherent consumables on the spacecraft. We don’t have gas or something we run out of inherently. The life-limiting characteristics tend to be in the mechanisms, the motors, those things, they tend to be outside in the cold so they suffer the greatest thermal highs and lows. And we test those for three times life. And we don’t test them to failure. The nominal mission for this is two years. But I think if it lasts twice that, I don’t think anyone would be shocked. And that’s the first time anyone’s gotten me to say anything more than ‘two years.'” – Peter Theisinger

“As I’ve said to the team and I’ll repeat it to the press here is that we’re in no hurry, okay? We now have at 10:32 tonight, we have a priceless asset. A priceless national asset, okay? And we are not going to – pardon the French – screw it up. And therefore, we will take our time and understand its condition, and understand if there’s anything that happened during landing that we haven’t uncovered yet.” – Peter Theisinger

“Realize that this is the second rover we have in operation on the surface of Mars at the same time. That’s pretty spectacular to have Opportunity still there eight years later and now Curiosity doing its thing.” – Richard Cook

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