ASU geologist Rob Sullivan recently had a very satisfying experience-- he went to the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and saw Mars Pathfinder and its three wind socks that will land on Mars in July 1997. The wind socks, which were made at ASU under the direction of Sullivan and ASU Professor of Geology, Ronald Greeley, went through a series of tests at a wind tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center, near San Francisco, Calif., in August and September. By mid-September, the wind socks were ready to go. Greeley's team delivered them to JPL, and now they are attached to their ~1 meter high mast. Of course, Mars Pathfinder will undergo more testing before the whole package, including wind socks, gets sent to Florida for launch next year. Meanwhile, Sullivan plans to be at UA in Tucson in December to get calibration pictures of a spare wind sock using the actual IMP that is going to Mars.
Click HERE for more information about the Wind Socks and other research by R. Greeley's group.