But when the rovers kept going, and many of the primary people had to move on to new projects, my background as a robotics engineer made me a perfect candidate to step into the project.
That was 9 months into the 3 month mission!
astroengine (11:11:05 AM): Wow, so you've been working on the MER for all of their operational lives?
awsmars (11:11:28 AM): For most of it, all but the first 8 months.
astroengine (11:12:22 AM): That's amazing, I bet you've grown quite attached to those robots. Are you responsible for one of the rovers? Or are you tasked to control both of them?
awsmars (11:14:13 AM): We all definitely get very attached to these rovers. We spent a large part of our time with them. They move and interact with the world, so it's hard not to think of them as anything other than part of the family.
I work with both the rovers, but mostly I work with Spirit. I am the lead driver for Spirit, which means I do a lot of the long-term planning for her.
astroengine (11:16:13 AM): I also think of Spirit as a "she", and when I write about Opportunity, for some reason I think "he." Is it normal to give these robots genders?