Cute Little Rovers

Tim Cavanaugh wrote an editorial on JPL and Charles Elachi before the Phoenix landing.

But for at least the last decade, the glamour of space travel has increasingly been shaped by machine-driven research — the heart-stopping photos of star formation from space-based telescopes, the stunning close-ups of Saturn’s rings and the surface of Titan from the Cassini-Huygens probe and the weird anthropomorphizing of the cute little rovers.

Cute little rovers? Those are workhorse mobile field geologists!

He quotes Dr. Elachi as saying we have 19 spacecraft operating in space right now. I hadn’t realized we had so many! Go us…

Phoenix Has Landed

JPL’s Phoenix Mars Lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet yesterday. Very exciting!

My girlfriend and I went to Griffith Observatory to watch the landing, as they had a special show setup.

They were showing NASA TV in the Nimoy Theater, which was filled up rather quickly. They also projected it on a screen outside in the gallery.

It was nice to see such a big crowd there to watch! And needless to say, there was a great round of applause and excitement when it was announced that a signal had been received from the surface!

Two weeks ago, we also went to the JPL Open House. The Mars Science Lab mockup was out for show. That’ll be our next Mars encounter!

Tellico 1.3.2 Released

Tellico 1.3.2 (the “Fayetteville Approaches” release) is available. It’s been a few months since the last release, and some updates have accumulated.

  • Added languages and editors to Amazon.com search.
  • Fixed PubMed search to use UTF-8, and to include all keywords.
  • Updated MODS import to improve importing from RefBase and WIKINDX.
  • Updated XML file loading to remove duplicates and ignore white-space.
  • Added LCCN validation and multiple LCCN searching from z39.50 sources.
  • Improved IMDb search results.
  • Updated entry creation to always add default values.
  • Updated MODS conversion to add Canadian LCC values.

UPDATE: The en_GB translation was broken, so I fixed it, and made a 1.3.2.1 release.

Kickoff for Phoenix Landing Blog

It looks like JPL is going to join the blogging age, and have a Phoenix Landing Blog. That should be fun. The first post went up Monday…

As you can see, landing Phoenix on Mars is a massive team effort that requires a great deal of coordination and attention to detail. Over the next week we’ll hopefully offer some insight into those details as we post blog entries from various members of the team. On landing day I’ll be providing frequent updates following the action at JPL and in mission control at JPL during landing, so be sure to check back often to see the latest on our approach to the red planet.

I took a quick look around and didn’t see an RSS or Atom feed. Hmmm…

They started putting up the Pathfinder, MER, and Phoenix models in the mall again yesterday. I expect there’s lots of stuff happening on-lab on Sunday. I plan to go to Griffith Observatory to watch the landing events.

Tellico Not Showing Most Values in View

If you’ve run into a Tellico problem lately where
most of the entry data doesn’t show up in the view, it’s due to the fact that you upgraded to libxslt 1.1.23. I was able to figure out that the issue is in the XSL templates but I can’t figure out if it’s a Tellico bug or an libxslt regression.

I can certainly work around the issue, and in fact, it’s probably best if I do. I’ll have updated templates in the next Tellico release. But I haven’t actually filed a bug report yet, since I’m trying to find other examples of this usage pattern.

UPDATE: looks like it’s RedHat bug 442097, and the libxslt code change has been reverted in Fedora RPMs.

UPDATE2: I filed GNOME bug 531873

UPDATE3: It’s been fixed in libxslt SVN and 1.1.24 will be out soon.