MOC 2's Excellent Adventure Begins...

Transport, Delivery, and Installation on the
Mars Global Surveyor Spacecraft

Table of Contents

MOC 2's journey to Mars began on November 27th at 5:30 AM PDT. That's when Jose Tamayo and Steve Labrecque (MOC Flight Hardware Technicians) rolled the shipping container, with the MOC 2 inside, out of Caltech's South Mudd Building, and with "Doug" Douglas, Ed Danielson (MOC Instrument Manager), Mike Malin (MOC PI), and Jeff Warren (MOC Software Engineer), loaded the container into a Ryder rental truck.

The plan was to drive the MOC and its supporting test equipment to Denver, Colorado, where Lockheed Martin Astronautics is building the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. In order to beat the Monday-morning, post-holiday traffic, departure was at 6:00 AM, heading east (against the commuter flow). Three vehicles made the trip in convoy: Ed and Doug were the designated drivers of the truck. Mike and Jeff drove the "nonsmoking escort car," while Jose, Steve, and Rick Stiebel (MOC/JPL Quality Assurance Engineer) drove in the "smoking" van.

Day 1: Pasadena, California to Gallup, New Mexico
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Caption: First day's drive, from Pasadena, CA to Gallup, NM.
By the time we finished our "early" dinner in Flagstaff, it was dark. The drive to Gallup took another three hours. In bed by 11:00 PM MST; trains every 15 minutes made for fitfull sleep.

Day 2: Gallup, New Mexico to Denver, Colorado
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On the road at 6:00 AM, temperature 11° F. Driving into the sun from Gallup to Albuquerque. Stopped for breakfast, then headed north on I-25.

Caption: Second day's drive, from Gallup, NM to Denver, CO.
The drive north from Trinidad (CO), through Pueblo and Colorado Springs, was short and uneventful, and mostly in darkness.

Day 3: To Lockheed Martin
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We checked in with Greg Heinsohn (LMA Payload Engineer) and got the word to show up around 8:30 AM.

Caption: Transporting to LMA.
The truck was unloaded fairly quickly (there wasn't much inside (GIF = 84 KBytes)); it was returned to Ryder by 10:30 AM!

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