Probably everybody knows by now that NASA's Cassini spacecraft has arrived at Jupiter after many years in transit; I keep seeing mentions of it on various weblogs. And each time I see one I have to shake myself a little bit, and remind myself how massively cool my job is.
As long time readers might (or might not) remember, I'm a software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory here in Southern California. My work involves some of the software used by the Deep Space Network, or DSN, which is the global network of dish antennas and the related hardware and software used to communicate with NASA spacecraft like Cassini, Spirit, and Opportunity. I've never worked on spacecraft software, and I've never had anything to do with Cassini in particular--but every time the DSN tracks Cassini, my software is involved.
And all too often it becomes just a job, and I forget how privileged I am to work where I do, where such nifty things as Cassini are commonplace.
So here's to the Cassini flight and development teams, and to all the JPL and DSN operations personnel around the world who keep the bits flowing.
You can find more about Cassini here, including some cool pictures of Saturn's rings.Posted by Will Duquette at July 1, 2004 08:26 PM
I had my son look at this website--cool site! A few years ago Saturn was clearly visible with only minimal maginification so we spent a couple hours on our hill gazing at the rings thru my kiddie telescope I got the year Armstrong walked on the moon. It was so interesting.