Mars Timr

Reliving those Seven Minutes after two years →

"Touchdown confirmed. We are safe on Mars!” 

Those words marked the end of the seven minutes of terror, two years ago today.  Curiosity has been alive and well for two years on the surface of Mars.

As a tribute to that anniversary, I relived the seven minutes of terror, and realized there was much more than I could put in a single blog post.

I abridged my experiences into a single pdf, posted online at the provided link.  That night was by far the most important in my life thus far, and it’s my honour to be able to share it with all of you.

Just click on the title to relive Curiosity’s landing.

Thanks so much for all your support, not only for our Mars time run, but for everyone at NASA and in spaceflight!  

The future is just around the corner.  Thanks for being a part of it!

(Please feel free to leave questions and comments)



One Year Anniversary!

Well, here we are one year after Curiosity landed!  Congratulations to everyone on the MSL team from our Mars Time War Room!  Thanks to all you readers for the interest you showed towards our Mars adventure!  

NASA loves to hear from all of you, and needs the support to keep ahead in the Mars Program, so please spread the word!  (#1YearOnMars for all of you on Twitter)  

Please join with me in a special congratulations to the whole MSL team!  Thanks for all the memories you’ve given us, and thanks for all the dreams you’ve fulfilled across the world!

Happy Birthday Curiosity!  Keep on dreaming!


Start from the Beginning

I’m so happy to still have people visiting this site, and I just want to say thank you to everyone for reading our story!  When I wrote this blog I meant for it to be read as I posted our activities.

If you’re new to Marstimr, or if you just want to re-read our story, click on the one of the links (you might have to scroll down) to start from the beginning.

The beginning:

The Archive:

P.S.  I’m still active on this site, so feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section.  You could also ask me a question directly by clicking on the “Ask me Anything” button under the site logo.


A Conclusion of Mars Time

Curiosity: 27M (Sol 27) 18:14 LMST

Earth: September 2, 2012 19:23 PDT

Well here we are; we’ve gone all the way around the clock (and then some)!  This truly has been the adventure of a lifetime!  As a family, we’ve grown much closer together.  As for our adventures, we feel like we’ve taken a vacation.  

LA has a whole night world that is invisible during the day.  By going on Mars time, we’ve visited that world, interacted with it, and come back.  In this way, we’ve had a vacation that many kids our age have never experienced.

Curiosity landed, and this adventure allowed us to take a part in it!  We’ve gotten to experience some of what the people who created it have experienced.  I feel uniquely privileged to have done this.

Now it’s time to move on.  For me this means 8th grade and Lego Robotics (Go Golden Gears!)  My sister is moving to 6th grade, and my brother to 3rd.  We hope to pursue science, and we hope that someday we’ll be the ones sending things into outer space!  We’ll miss Mars time and the world it opened to us, but we welcome the people and friends we get to see again!

Lastly, I have some thanks to give:  Thank you Dad for all you do at JPL and at home!  Thanks Mom for taking care of us and having so much patience while on Mars time!  Thanks to all 56 of my Tumblr followers for their loyalty.  Finally, thanks to all of you 17,000+ readers who have kept us going! (I didn’t think I could break 1000 readers!)

Thank you all and remember, “Dare mighty things!”


Taking Down our Shades

Mars: 27M (Sol 27) 18:00 LMST

Earth: September 2, 2012 19:09 PDT

It’s time to reset our body clocks, so down come the shades.  My brother had an especially fun time with the way the velcro sounded!  Here are some pictures of him taking his shades down!

Bty, our clocks came full circle on Sept 1

First Day of School
Mars: 24M (Sol 24) 07:09 LMST
Earth: August 30, 2012 06:01 PDT
The first day of school came round on the 28th, and it’s kind of weird that we’re still almost two hours off of Earth time.  We’ve been getting up around 5am and going to bed around 8pm, so we’re very close!

First Day of School

Mars: 24M (Sol 24) 07:09 LMST

Earth: August 30, 2012 06:01 PDT

The first day of school came round on the 28th, and it’s kind of weird that we’re still almost two hours off of Earth time.  We’ve been getting up around 5am and going to bed around 8pm, so we’re very close!


Really Great People

Mars: 24M (Sol 24) 07:06 LMST

Earth: August 30, 2012 05:58 PDT

On the 27th Bobak came over to have Brunch with us.  We played Mario Kart with him and all had a lot of fun!  Later we went into JPL for our dinner (your lunch).  On the way out we ran into Bill Nye.  He made the connection that we were the Mars time family, and he wanted a picture of us!  He used his iPhone, and we used a camera.  The camera photo is above.

On the 27th our dinner is your lunch.  Right now we’re only an hour or two off from normal time.  See you soon!


First Day of School

Mars: 22M (Sol 22) 04:49 LMST

Earth: August 28, 2012 07:16 PDT

Today’s the first day of school.  We’re up at 4am and have plenty of time to check backpacks and organize forms.  I’ll try to post some first day pictures, but first we have to get some.

Our schedules should be back to normal on Saturday the first!  Just a few more time zones to go!


Old Town Pasadena at 4am

Mars: 22M (Sol 22) 07:12 LMST

Earth: August 28, 2012 04:45 PDT

We woke up around 2am and went to Wokcano restaurant in Pasadena for brunch.  The first picture is of us with a terra cotta warrior.  After eating we went for a walk.  The next picture is of my sister and I underneath a curfew sign that reads, “Hang out after ten, think again.”  Our question was, “Ten to what?”  The other photos are of Colorado Blvd.  For anyone who knows of it, you know that it’s really busy, even late at night.  Turns out that at 4am there are street cleaners and an occasional car, but it’s pretty much empty.


A Sum of Mars Time by Dad

Mars: 21M (Sol 21) 07:41 LMST

Earth: August 27, 2012 04:35 PDT

"It feels like we are in the final stretch of our Mars Time adventure.  Though we are still getting up early in the morning, the time before dawn is shrinking rapidly and school is starting tomorrow.  Soon we will end our journey around the clock, and I would like to share a few thoughts.

First, taking a journey around the clock really is a great adventure for the family and a great bonding experience. It has been great to have the family together on Martian time. There is nothing like coming home from a long day day at work at 4 AM, opening the door, and having the kids run up and yell “Daddy” and then sitting down to eat dinner. It is invigorating, and livens up a dark night.  It has brought the family together to wander through the night doing all these different things. I believe we are a closer family at the end of this month than at the beginning.

Second, the city of Los Angeles is really a completely different city at night than during the day.  The weather cools down, the traffic disappears, and you can travel from any part of the city to another in 30 minutes by car. Parts of LA have a reputation for being sketchy at night, but we never ran into any of that. The people we met were invariably kind, friendly, and happy to see us (happy to see the kids!) wandering through at 4 AM. And they were invariably interesting. The friendly waitress Nicole, Auggie, the space enthusiast at the bowling alley, Andy at the 24 hours newsstand were all great people we would never have met on Earth time.  It was great to see a wonderful side of the city that we had never seen before.

Third, it was hard to lose the social interactions with friends as we moved our schedule though the night.  We will look forward to coming back to Earth time (coming back home!) and meeting our friends again, and we’ll have a big party to celebrate.

Fourth, it is a privilege to work on the Mars program.  There is nothing like sitting in mission control at 2 AM looking at the pictures newly received from the Rover, knowing that we in the room are the first people on Earth to see them.  It has been an honor to work with the most brilliant team of people I have ever met in my career. 

Both at work and at home, I will cherish the experiences we have had, the knowledge we have gained, and the friends we have made on this two part adventure: exploring Mars at work and living on Mars Time at home.”

 - Dad