Coming back from Hawaii I had a one hour change in LA to get my next flight to Dules. Mind gang, Iím NOT going to tell you again that I sat near a nice girl and this sort of things.
When I get to the gate I kinda recognize somebody, then somebody elseÖ they both were among a group of 7-8 people. I knew the first one surnameís Adam but canít remember his first name at this time (I know heís Steltzner by now). The second one looked a bit like Tom Rivellini the (Landing Systems Engineer)Ö If youíve watched Spirit and Oppy landing, Iím sure youíll have recognized them both. So, I went to see him:
- Are you Tom Revillini?
- No, Iím not, but I work with him!
Bingo, there was a part of the Mer EDL team!!!
- Do you know Tom?
- Well (didnít want to tell him that I did indeed but that HE didnít know me), not really I just recognize you because I went to Pasadena for Spirit landing with the Planetary Society, and you look like Tom. (Iíd notice that already that Tomís got a kinda sosie)
- Oh yes, I see.
- So, How everythingís going? (I was such in awe that I didnít find a better question)
- Well, weíre working on the next one.
- Ö.(he sew through my eyes that I was not sure of which next one he was talking about)
- Thatís MSL.
Then he turn down and said to Adam that Iíve mistaken him with Tom Rivellini and said:
- Is Tom on the same flight?
- I think so.
He was not.
At this time I had a wild thought! If Rob Manning would show Iíll say : hey MarsEngineer, Iím Climber! He didnít show either. But they were all on MY flight. A whole EDL brunch of guys that already landed 2 rovers on Mars and were working on MSL! And nobody around knew about it! I thought of this situation for a while. You can be seated near somebody youíd really like to meet, even your personal hero, and donít know about it.For Exemple, Neil Armstrong, Doug Jellison,
We rushed in the plane; I sat down hopping one of them will sit next to me.
I was not THAT lucky.
So, all passengers felt asleep as soon as the plane took off since it was 6 am. I took the chance later on to get to Adam and asked him if he wouldnít mind talking with me about Mars I had a "few" questions actually . It was just bad timing, the seat belt sign went on, and then it was time to land, so I missed my chance. (sorry about that guys, I canít tell you of anything news except that the team was off to Washington).
Anyway, I learnt ONE single thing that none of you know : they are only EDL people and they donít even know about what type of spacecraft they land! Guess why? Because Adam was reading a magazine called: 4-Wheels.