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  Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with Mars Exploration Rovers (William Clancey)

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Author Topic:   Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with Mars Exploration Rovers (William Clancey)
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-15-2012 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers
by William J. Clancey
Geologists in the field climb hills and hang onto craggy outcrops; they put their fingers in sand and scratch, smell, and even taste rocks. Beginning in 2004, however, a team of geologists and other planetary scientists did field science in a dark room in Pasadena, exploring Mars from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) by means of the remotely operated Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Clustered around monitors, living on Mars time, painstakingly plotting each movement of the rovers and their tools, sensors, and cameras, these scientists reported that they felt as if they were on Mars themselves, doing field science. The MER created a virtual experience of being on Mars. In this book, William Clancey examines how the MER has changed the nature of planetary field science.

NASA cast the rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as "robotic geologists," and ascribed machine initiative ("Spirit collected additional imagery...") to remotely controlled actions. Clancey argues that the actual explorers were not the rovers but the scientists, who imaginatively projected themselves into the body of the machine to conduct the first overland expedition of another planet. The scientists have since left the darkened room and work from different home bases, but the rover-enabled exploration of Mars continues. Drawing on his extensive observations of scientists in the field and at the JPL, Clancey investigates how the design of the rover mission enables field science on Mars, explaining how the scientists and rover engineers manipulate the vehicle and why the programmable tools and analytic instruments work so well for them. He shows how the scientists felt not as if they were issuing commands to a machine but rather as if they were working on the red planet, riding together in the rover on a voyage of discovery.

William J. Clancey is Chief Scientist at the Human-Centered Computing Division in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center, and Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 24, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 026201775X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262017756

MCroft04
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Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 11-19-2012 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just received this book. Flipping through the pages it looks like a great read.

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