Economy
9:19 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Rhode Island is connected to Mars

PROVIDENCE, RI – A member of the Brown University faculty is among hundreds of scientists huddled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California monitoring the progress of the Mars rover. Dr. Ralph Milliken will be living on Mars time for the next few months as he tracks the rover's journey.

Brown University assistant geology professor Ralph Milliken arrived in Pasadena last week for a three-month stay at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he will track the progress of the Mars rover "Curiosity." He'll be living on Mars time, where a day - called a sol --- is 40 minutes longer than Earth's.

"Some days we'll be working in the dead of night and other days we'll be working probably similar to normal daylight hours here in California. But it's constantly shifting. I think it will be very hard to get used to."

Others who have lived on Mars time have offered some advice: "Having blackout shades in your bedroom is an important part especially here in sunny southern California. "

Curiosity's mission is to study rock samples to determine if life was ever supportable on Mars.

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