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Photo of Charles (Chuck) Acton
   Charles (Chuck) Acton

Mars Exploration (General)

I organize and lead the activities of five engineers. Our team, known as the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) Team, is responsible for designing, building and helping to deploy and operate a software system used by scientists to help plan scientific observations, and then to analyze the data that comes back from their instruments. This system– known as “SPICE” (Spacecraft Planet Instrument Camera-matrix Events)- is used to compute many kinds of complex geometric quantities, such as, at a given time, where was the spacecraft, where was the sun, in what direction was the camera (or some other instrument) pointed, and what part of Mars was visible to the instrument.

Charles (Chuck) Acton:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections