Andrew Mishkin, a senior systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a leader of NASA's robotic program, delivers an insider's look at the Mars Pathfinder probe that electrified the world's imagination. 122 million miles away from her ...
from her controllers, a sophisticated robot smaller than a microwave oven did what had never been done before-explore the rocky, red terrain of Mars. Then, six-wheeled Sojourner beamed spectacular pictures of her one-of-a-kind mission back to Earth. And millions of people were captivated.
Now, with the touch of an expert thriller writer, Sojourner operations team leader Andrew Mishkin tells the inside, human story of the Mars Pathfinder mission's feverish efforts to build a self-guided, offroading robot to explore the surface of the Red Planet. With witty, compelling anecdotes, he describes the clash of temperamental geniuses, the invention of a new work ethic, the turf wars, the chewing-gum solutions to high-tech problems, the controlled chaos behind the strangely beautiful creation of an artificial intelligence-and the exhilaration of inaugurating the next great age of space exploration.