Mars: The Two Jakes

Jake the Rock, Mars
NASA researchers have now thoroughly vetted Curiosity and its 10 science instruments, which are designed to help the rover seek signs of microbial life. Curiosity has also hit the road recently, traveling a total of about 950 feet from its landing site so far. The rover now sits about 660 feet from its first major science destination, a site called Glenelg where three different types of Martian terrain come together.

Curiosity will spend the next several days more or less stationary, gearing up to perform its first contact science operations on a pyramidal rock that mission scientists have named “Jake Matijevic,” after a rover team member who died shortly after Curiosity landed.

The rover will investigate the 16-inch-high rock with its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, which measures elemental composition, and its Mars Hand Lens Imager close-up camera. Curiosity will also zap “Jake Matijevic” with the laser on its ChemCam instrument, which reads rock composition from the vaporized bits.

Jake the Man, Earth

Remembering Jake

Richard Cook, project manager for the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission, said the rock’s name pays tribute to Jacob Matijevic, a leading engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was involved in NASA’s rover missions since Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover in 1997. Matijevic was a Chicago native who earned his Ph.D. in mathematics and came up with the Matijevic Theorem, which was once described as “one of the most beautiful results of recent years in commutative algebra.”

Matijevic’s obituary in the Chicago Tribune notes that he came to JPL in 1981 and took on a variety of assignments. Eventually, he came to specialize in systems engineering for the Mars rover designs as well as rover surface operations. “He was probably one of the top one or two experts on surface operations here at JPL,” Cook said.

Matijevic played a key role in the Spirit and Opportunity rover missions, which were originally planned to last just 90 days on Mars. Grotzinger recalled that Matijevic once said “if this rover lasts six months, it’ll probably last six years.”

“He seems to have come pretty close,” Grotzinger observed. Spirit lasted six years. Opportunity is now into its 8th year of operation.

The engineer switched over from Opportunity to the Mars Science Laboratory mission, but passed away at the age of 64 on Aug. 20, after battling respiratory problems, the Tribune reported.

Grotzinger said Matijevic would have loved dealing with the complexities involved in studying the rock that’s named after him. “All that activity and all those considerations are what honor Jake Matijevic so well,” he said.

Next Steps

While researchers are looking forward to reaching Glenelg, Curiosity’s ultimate destination is the base of Mount Sharp, a 3.4-mile-high mountain. Mars-orbiting spacecraft have spotted signs that Mount Sharp’s foothills were exposed to liquid water long ago.

Mount Sharp’s interesting deposits lie about 6 miles away. Curiosity — which is currently covering about 100 feet on a big driving day but should eventually kick that up to 330 feet or so — could be ready to head toward Mount Sharp around the end of the year.

Catching An Eclipse

In its spare time last week Curiosity photographed a partial Solar eclipse. Mars doesn’t have much in the way of moons — just two small, lumpy objects called Phobos and Deimos. But those tiny natural satellites can still make their presence felt.

Curiosity rover documented a brief passage of Phobos, the larger of the Martian moons, in front of the sun. Phobos just grazed the edge of the solar disk from Curiosity’s vantage point, but the rover clearly captured the moon’s shadow in a series of photographs.

Scientists will use these photos to nail down the orbits of Phobos and Deimos precisely, and to determine how much they have changed over the last few years. This information, in turn, could yield key insights about the interior of Mars and its gravitational pull on these moons, which remains largely mysterious.

“It’s not going to do any good to land on Mars if we’re stupid.” — Ray Bradbury

82 thoughts on “Mars: The Two Jakes”

  1. Woo Hoo !
    Very interesting and timely with the talk of the return to space and return to leadership in the US space program.
    May the first day of fall be ever so beautiful for all.

  2. it’s all jake with me

    by the old bye, wonder if anyone has stopped to consider how very intentionally made that pyramidal rock looks and if it might be somebody’s icon with a meaning.

  3. ….Thanks for mentioning the search menu on the site, Craig. It’s a truly useful feature.

  4. Love you Patd.

    … and you too, Tony.
    And you Solar, my closest and most loved (and missed) friend.

    As for the rest of you, Adios

  5. No good news for Mittens

    It’s no wonder people who write about politics (in a non-delusional way) are writing about other things

  6. i don’t think that mr and mrs romney quite realize yet that they are “it” for this latest round of that great American pastime “Trippin’ up the Swells”.

    Placed on the Big Screen in the works of Moe, Larry, and Curly, and many others.

    If you look around the table and can’t spot the mark, the mark is you.
    –Sock-eye Walsh

  7. The only way Republicans can win is voter suppression
    a republican pollster on with Candy Crowley just made that very evident.

    And Brian Williams, (NBC-dick) It is NOT the Democrat Party — what do you call the other party moron?

  8. httpv://

    Sunday Sublime.

    When you have tired of tilting at windmills, Dance!


  9. Sturg

    I think in their bubble… Of course the only way that happens is if they suppress the minority vote. So they could still win.

    Everyone needs to lining up against pa’s law. Denying 750k the right to vote? Someone needs to get popular figures in PA to make ads and start running them about what people can do… I think you can vote provisionally but local election officers in PA have already demonstrated they don’t know what’s allowable and not.

    Kramer -mad money complained his father wasn’t going to be able to vote and the Dept of Trans came to his house –are they planning to do that for all 750?

    It just shows the power of entitlement

  10. yes, the trippin’ up the swells bit exists independent of whether he wins or not….even were he to win they’ve had to undergo one monumental ego-stomping ass-chewing…..from damn near everybody.

  11. I see Michele Obama is saying voting is the most important civil rights issue. Boy Howdy ain’t that the truth.

    Here at the Cracker household fall means Sunday sports -The Giants won their division which at least six more games of baseball and the 49’ers are doing well so at least it isn’t endless hours of gloom

  12. The thing about mitt, aside from all the politics, is that one incident with the kid down the hall, the one whom he and his little suck-buddies assaulted. I’ve seen those mitt-types before and they are an ugly tribe. I have very rarely seen them “grow out of it”. It does happen, but i don’t think it has with him and I got no use for someone who thought it was funny to torment weaker people.

  13. I do not believe that our government spends our money wisely, i do not believe that legislation or regulations will solve human problems that have existed since the beginning of civilization.”

    I don’t think that government spends our money wisely either. If it did , we would be energy independent, and have a 21st century infrastructure that was the envy of the world. I don’t think that makes me a liberal.

    Regulation will never solve age old human problems, but it can prevent banksters, and investment houses from plunging the economy of the world into the tank.
    If government were doing its job those regulations would be a whole lot tighter. I’m not convinced that makes me a liberal.

    As for the act of taking individual responsibility,
    I have observed that it is neither, liberal or conservative in nature and that no community of any persuasion has a corner on that particular market.
    I am quite certain that doesn’t make me liberal either.

    In point of fact, I find that I am far better able to define myself and my points of view than others are able to do for me. That may… make me a liberal. 😐

  14. If Romney and republicans lose big, it will be because they were not conservative enough. (see Draconian)

    Tea bags will be become the official coin of the republican realm.

  15. Romney’s defense of the assault…I don’t remember doing it, I could have done it and if I did it I’m sorry.

  16. sturge, hasta luegas, au revoirs and auf wiedersehens just aren’t as expressive, colorful and don’t have the impact that “adios m-f” has.
    not that that was what was intended…
    and not that there’s anything wrong with that intention.

  17. Romney’s defense of the assault…I don’t remember doing it, I could have done it and if I did it I’m sorry.

    Exactly…..”if i did it”, like he just don’t remember dat.

  18. As for the act of taking individual responsibility,
    I have observed that it is neither, liberal or conservative in nature and that no community of any persuasion has a corner on that particular market.

    Jace… I have a good conservative friend that likes to talk about “personal responsibility” quite often. She, unfortunately, got laid off from her job several yrs ago. When asked if she’d looked for another job, her response was “why should I, I’m collecting unemployment and I think I’ll enjoy myself and take the summer off”. Not that I blamed her… but another mutual friend and I were wondering what happened to the personal responsibility stuff.

  19. Not only is it true that the rich do not pay their bills promptly, but when they do finally pay, they like to decide for themselves how much they owe.

    –Nelson DeMille in THE GOLD COAST

  20. Hey Ping… happy, happy fall to you too. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Rick and I chose to get married in October… you know… the changing color of the leaves, pumpkins, apple cider, those wonderful nippy clean air mornings, and all the other fallish thingys…

  21. Ann Coulter anyone who has her on is not serious about any discussion

  22. Regulation will never solve age old human problems, but it can prevent banksters, and investment houses from plunging the economy of the world into the tank.

    Jace , how’s that working out for us ?
    Do yourself a favor go to
    Look at top donors to dodd and frank

    Hint, the banksters and lobbyist are the one that write the legislation

  23. Nancy pelosi , she’s all for green energy , environmentalist , standing up to those mean ole oil companies ,right ?

    Top campaign donor , occidental petroleum

  24. Pick any longtime entrenched politician ,
    Pick one any one ,democrat , republican , it doesn’t matter
    Compare what they say to get votes to their top donors

    You’re being played like a cheap violin

  25. You’re being played like a cheap violin

    i have you know, my good sir, noone here on the trail plays cheap!.

  26. Nancy pelosi…

    Top campaign donor , occidental petroleum

    Yeah, but to be fair, one would have to connect the dots to see if she has supported policy or legislation that favors Occidental Petroleum for that fact to have much significance. I wouldn’t be surprised, if so, but expending that type of effort on research is why I comment on message boards rather than engage in real journalism: I have other priorities.

  27. Look at smuck shumer, he doesn’t even attempt to hide the the fact he’s bought and paid for by the big wall street banks
    Don’t believe me look at the amount of money and top donors

  28. Reading Bowmac’s comments made me think about the differences between liberals and conservatives.

    In kindergarten, liberals shared the toys. Conservatives would grab a toy, yell “This is mine!” and hit the other kids who tried to play with “their” toy.

    I have never observed conservatives to be particularly interested in taking “personal responsibility” for anything. (They always complain that OTHER people need to be more “responsible.”)

    What I have observed is that conservatives are greedy and hateful. What they most dislike is people (liberals) telling them that this is bad behavior. Conservatives vote for politicians who tell them it’s OK to be greedy and hateful.

    “Conservative ideology” is simply an elaborate justification for being greedy and hateful. There really is nothing more to it than that. Just read Ayn Rand; it’s all there.

  29. Oh yes it’s a lot of work to look all this up
    Takes about , three minutes

    Well, then… post that %$&^, Cronkite.

  30. By the way, I’m 99% certain that Romney dyes his hair. He’s got more than that “touch of gray” you can see in his photos.

    Vanity in a politician? Who ever heard of such a thing?

  31. …looks like there’s some gel in there, too. To be fair, I might shower and shave if I were running for POTUS, myself. I’m not, though… YET.

  32. Something for the Hillary ’16ers out there to munch on (Face the Nation today):

    Bob Schieffer: Mr. President I have to ask you about your wife. She’s getting ready to wind up her term as Secretary of State. Do you think she will run for president next time out? A lot of people think she ought to if Barack Obama’s reelected.

    Bill Clinton: I don’t know. You know she’s worked hard for 20 years. We had eight years in the White House then she ran for the Senate, she served in New York for eight years then she immediately became the Secretary of State, and she’s tired. She’s really worked hard. I think she’s done a fabulous job. I’m very proud of her. But she wants to take some time off, kind of regroup. Write a book. I hope we’ll be working together. She was doing this work long before I was and of what we do now for women and girls were driven by some of the things she started in the State Department. So I think we ought to give her a chance to organize her life and decide what she wants to do. I just don’t know. She’s an extraordinarily able person. I’ve never met anybody I thought was a better public servant. But I have no earthly idea what she’ll decide to do.

    Bob Schieffer: Do you think she’ll be the most qualified person to run?

    Bill Clinton: I’ve never met anybody I thought was any better than her at this. But again, we got a lot of able people in our party who want to be president. There’s never a shortage of people that want to be president. Got a lot of bright young governors, we’ve got a lot of other people will probably run out of the Congress. We won’t have to worry about people wanting to be president next time who are good people. But I just think, you know, it’s a decision she’ll have to make. But whatever she does I’m for her first last and always. She’s the ablest, I know I’m biased, but I think she demonstrated as senator and as Secretary of State that she has extraordinary ability. A lot of commonsense. A lot of, you know, Stick-to-itiveness, she’ll push a rock up a hill as long as it takes to get it up the hill.

    Bob Schieffer: And if she decided to do it, you’d be right there to help her?

    Bill Clinton: Whatever she wanted me to do, I would. But you know, who knows? It’s her decision, her life. But whatever she decides, I’ll support it.

  33. Maybe we will just have to watch the next episodes of Political Animals to find out what Hillary is going to do…

  34. Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population. The size of the shift underscores the severity of the jobs crisis.
    If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.
    The jobs crisis spurred the Federal Reserve last week to launch a new bond-buying program and promise to keep it running until the labor market improves. It also poses a challenge to President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.
    The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.

  35. Has anyone checked the statistics on Social Security disability? I would be interested to know if approved claims have climbed dramatically since the downturn. A lot of people 50+ out of work and unable to find a job might go that route to have an income particularly if they worked intense labor that might pass muster with a doctor signing off on the claim.

  36. Asked whether GM would set up a dedicated Chinese factory to produce Cadillacs, rather than sharing production with other GM models, Akerson said:

    “Yes.” But he gave no details.

    Wonder why the NLRB isn’t all over gm’s ass about buiding factories in china instead of the good old USA
    They sure went after Boeing , for building that plant in south Carolina , at least they keep it here,

    Of course it would cut in to GM’s profit margin ,
    To pay the higher tarrifs and shipping ,
    But wasn’t the bail out about saving American jobs ?
    We sure could use them about right now

  37. mqw, too bad your figures aren’t broken out to show private vs public sector job losses as this does on the public sector side:

    Since the recovery from the Great Recession officially began in June 2009, private-sector jobs are up by 2.8 million, but public-sector jobs (the combined employment in federal, state, and local governments) are down by 584,000. The figure below compares trends in public-sector employment in the last four recoveries. The current recovery is the only one that has seen public-sector losses over its first 31 months.

    If public-sector employment had grown since June 2009 by the average amount it grew in the three previous recoveries (2.8 percent) instead of shrinking by 2.5 percent, there would be 1.2 million more public-sector jobs in the U.S. economy today. In addition, these extra public-sector jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private-sector jobs.

  38. Oh boy, good posts, seems I was stuck on the previous thread.. Silly me, thought it was a slow TM day. Out and about and checked in on my phone, 50 comments ❓

  39. tv folk are rolling in dough. here’s a piece from 2000 decrying their little coverage of issues but big profits from political ads:

    A coalition of public interest groups called on the public Thursday to demand television networks and local TV stations provide at least five minutes of air time each night to political candidates discussing the issues.

    The coalition, organized by the Alliance for Better Campaigns, said at a news conference in Washington that stations are reaping enormous profits from political ads — but are falling down on their civic responsibility to carry substantive coverage of candidates discussing the issues.

    The groups said that while the television industry provided literally seconds a night to candidate discourse this year, local TV stations in the top 75 media markets took in more than $211 million from 286,737 political ads. The broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC were the biggest beneficiaries, since they own 58 local TV stations, mostly in large cities.Paine Webber estimates that television stations will sell close to $1 billion in air time for political ads for the 2000 campaign.

    and it’s just gotten worse in these 12 intervening years.

  40. Patd only proves that there has been no real recovery
    Too bad they didn’t break that down between federal and state jobs
    The federal workforce has grown 140000 or so
    Of course they can print money
    The states can’t and some have balance budget amendments in their state constitutions
    But that’s what you get when you spend, borrow and promise too much to get elected or re-elected
    There’s always price to be paid for foolishness

  41. From Previous thread

    Good Morning all, Chloe,
    Ha, in looking back over the thread, the so-called offending post of yours finally appeared and i thoroughly enjoyed it. You made so many fine points in your post its hard to pick out one but for me the theme of your post is everyone regardless of education or degrees has something valuable to contribute here and i see no harm in reminding us all of that. I know years ago when i started posting here i felt very inadequate. As a lunch bucket Dem assembly line worker it was very challenging and not very welcoming. I’m also sure many people that lurk don’t post because they may not feel they can measure up..I mean Solar is a perfect example of that. So again i feel you reminding us is a good thing.
    Oh and i didn’t view your post as a personal attack, as you were just responding to a poster from many threads ago.

    “I should have never come back.”
    Of course you should have come back and if you did there’s hope others will too..I mean we got Champ back, which is simply amazing, ha stick around there’s more good things to come..

  42. The Son Also Sets

    The billion-dollar Republican campaign should be sweeping the floor with the deflated President Obama after four years of 8 percent-plus unemployment. Yet it is curdling. The little donations have dried up; how long before the big money follows?

  43. But that’s what you get when you spend, borrow and promise too much to get elected or re-elected
    There’s always price to be paid for foolishness

    mqw, loss of teachers, loss of firefighters, loss of police, loss of infrastructure, loss of food safety inspection etc came about mostly due to tea party pressure to reduce the size of gov’t. and as you so wisely said “there’s always price to be paid for foolishness”

  44. Sturg…
    I bet you’d make a great trapeze artist…
    just stay away from the elephants…

  45. The states that promised too much have legacy cost of retired employees
    They can’t keep those promises and keep the same amount of employment
    Got nothing to do with the tea party
    Those cost were built in long ago

  46. Chloe…

    Wow! Saw Tony’s post that yours had finally shown up and went back to read it. As I recall, you DID castigate all of those here who disagree with you. My saying that obviously pushed your buttons, but both that post and this recent one only prove that you are also guilty of exactly what you’re saying most of the people here are guilty of.

    I’m not seeking your absence from this blog, if that’s what you think, but I did find that first post offensive. I also find this one somewhat offensive, but mostly because you specifically called me out.

    That said, I think your argument about education is silly, and I’m certain that I’ve never denigrated anyone here because of their education or lack thereof. Education comes in many forms…not only in classrooms! There are some here I admire for the depth and breadth of their classroom educations, but I admire everyone here for the life education/experiences they bring to the table! And that includes you.

    FWIW, I truly agree with your comments in the last comment you posted above.

  47. Last week a flashy envelope from Mitt arrived for my father, a life-long Democrat, thanking him for his contribution.

    Pop died on June 2nd, 1997 at the age of 93.

  48. You want to help the states get through hard times ?
    End the war in Afghanistan , tell Hillary to stop running around all over the world handing out plane loads of money ,
    Shut down the military bases in Germany bring the troops home ,
    There you go I just got you 100 billion dollars you can use

  49. I was walking around behind the big tent and found this old guy in the elephant pen shoveling up the elephant manure. I stopped and we chatted a bit. “I’m looking for a job in the circus,” I say. He’s kind of angry. “Thirty years,” he says, “Thirty years I’ve been shoveling elephant crap. They crap all day long you know, and for thirty damn years I’ve been shoveling it into a pile and into a barrow and carting it off. Thirty damn years,” he says.
    So I asks him, “Why don’t you quit and get a job somewhere?”
    “What? And get out of Show Business??”

  50. .I mean we got Champ back, which is simply amazing

    It’s like hitting the lottery!

  51. Don’t forget my platform:


    As opposed to the collective platforms of both the Republicans and Democrats, which is:

    “Hey, Everybody! You’re all gonna get *&%$ed!”

  52. Tony,

    Just went into my email from g-mail…sorry that i did not see it earlier.!

    You said: “I’m also sure many people that lurk don’t post because they may not feel they can measure up..I mean Solar is a perfect example of that. So again i feel you reminding us is a good thing.”

    Wellll, that was true when i first started to post…I made (tried) a grand introduction about going into the Trail bar and talking about and to all the posters here one by one….(how can i get this first post that i did here?)

    Even got to make Lard ass laugh at me, and say hello…..took Craig over a year to say hello…it was just an oversight, and did not take offense…he was, and is a pretty busy guy….but do like the way that he welcomes all new comers now…..hope I had something to do with that.

    Any way at first i was very intimidated by all here at the trail….but was determined to meet Patsi…..i lurked for over a year and found her presence to be much like my Sister Maria that passed away…she did not talk to me for a while……noone did cept for Sturg…..he told me that I should post more, and ofterrrrn….so if any body had/has a problem with that?… know who to complain to…….and it you buy him a budwieser…..he just might listen…

    What did it for me…was also my first real conversation with bethyboo….remember the long posts?….those were the ones that we wrote at midnight.

    Bethy (thanks teach) helped me get over the insecure feelings of starting to post.

    Then “the Champ” helped me with my gramamer a little, and did not know he also contributed to creating a monster…..along with the encouragement from my bestes and loved friend Chloe…Patsi, that is…..they helped to keep me around when i was having such a hard times of it……..Cheyenne helped of course….

    Same with Coreen, Carol, Sea, and some other middle of the road independents…..I know that is redundant….but i think that is what some of what Chloe was talking about….

    I did do a little lurking the past cpl of days…..but will go back a cpl of wks to see if what i have missed…so thanks for the e-mail.

    But back to Chloe’s point: There have been a lot of Indies that have left the trail….there were a few times not long after I felt comfortable posting on the trail….due to biased postings i felt at the time…towards others…..that gave a different point on view…..can’t name em all now….but I did like animal a lot…and Don1….

    Ones has to have a tough skin around here……sometimes the way things are said, or not said are worse than the blogs the come flat out and scream and swear at you…..NO.! it is worse for people like me…or Mqw….that have not finished high school…….but at not time have i felt like running away b/c I don;t measure up.

    On the contrary….im pretty happy overall that even with my spanglish, lack of spelling and grammar ability…..what is in the ol cabeza is doing just fine….and still learning a lot more on my own.

    Im even flattered that some of the things that I have talked about are being repeated now….and someone like Jamie that once told someone, and new poster….that “i was ok….that I posted some good music, and was a good dancer”……I replied “thanks, I think”…….she has come around (morphed into what I used post about a long time ago….but says it so much betttttter….but still the same….

    There has been quit a few Indies that have been discouraged and stopped posting….hope they lurk and will come back……but mostly I can’t stand the rah-rah stuff from people that I have (all come to respect…some loved)….been on the trail with for the past three yrs or so with….

    MQW…….keep it up pal…just drop the republican talking points at times…..and you will be a full grown ind……ratch it up a few notches tho…..tie it all in…………………………to what you say>?…….Religion………U shoulda guessed it huh?, but yes it is all about it….95% that is……and the rest is greed…….well that makes it 110% no?

    Tony, will be back a little latter, …..thanks again pal.


    87, 88, 86


  53. Awe Solar,
    WONDERFUL to see you! I remember way back when, those were some exciting times around TM. You always hold your own and your point of view has been sorely missed around here. How’s Judy and the family, hope good. I’m still keeping busy with my cleaning business and fighting the Dillio’s, ha ha, not so much lately as they don’t like the heat. Oh got a nice love in my life but I’ve told you about Steve my Jamaican dream.
    I can’t wait to hear all you have to say about the elections coming up, give it to us man..

  54. yep, I’d have felt quite educationally challenged around here if not for those 6 years of high school….
    4 junior-seniors….nothing to sneer at.

  55. Sitting here watching the Emmys which features actors that I mostly don’t know and shows that I haven’t seen. From the clips that are shown, there is so much mean spirited ‘humor’ and out-and-out violence that I don’t feel a bit deprived by having missed so many of the award candidates and winners.

  56. “sometimes the way things are said, or not said are worse than the blogs that come flat out and scream and swear at you…”

    Beautifully said my friend (I never stop missing you).
    85, 84, 83

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