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Go for EDL (Entry Descent and Landing) - AdrianG — LiveJournal [APOD]
January 25th, 2004
09:47 pm

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Go for EDL (Entry Descent and Landing)

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From:namedphoenix
Date:February 14th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
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Hello, Adriang. I keep forgetting to read your posts - I like the ones about the Mars Rover.

You know, I did my thesis on Mars. It had a very ambitious title "The effects of surface loading in the Tharsis region." I was hoping to get MOLA tracks of the region and find a compressional bulge around the area, trace the trajectory of the bulge, and then count faults. In theory, it was supposed to give me an idea of the mass of the Tharsis bulge, and give some interesting insight into it's mechanics.

Well, the MOLA tracks from NASA are actually coded in this horrendously complicated (to a completely ameture programmer - I'd only taken one introduction class to scientific computing, and I can't even remember the language I learned) file, and it was taking me like, a month just to write the program to READ the files, so I couldn't get any images.

In the end, I was distracted from my ambitious work, and my thesis was a horrendous compiliation that summarized the works of other people dealing with the same idea, but no one had ever had the MOLA data, and that could have a looot of information.
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From:adriang
Date:February 14th, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC)

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    Well, the MOLA tracks from NASA are actually coded in this horrendously complicated (to a completely [amateur] programmer - I'd only taken one introduction class to scientific computing, and I can't even remember the language I learned) file, and it was taking me like, a month just to write the program to READ the files, so I couldn't get any images.

That must have been disappointing. I have the opposite problem, I suppose. I live and breathe programming, but I don't have nearly as much time as I would like to study the various sciences that interest me. My college years gave me a good start, but I have to admit that I've forgotten an awful lot of math (although I dare say I have both forgotten and still remember far more math than most people ever learn. 8-]) and a lot of the science that my degree program covered. I suppose I'm better prepared to learn it over again, but still, my work doesn't really offer much use for all that education, and that's a bit disappointing. Sometimes I wonder if I could use my programming skills as to pry my way back into more serious sciences. I'm sure it would mean accepting a substantial pay cut, but I think I might enjoy it more.

Adrian
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