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HR Strange But True!
March 10, 2004

For the scientists and engineers operating the Mars rover Spirit, the days are long. They seem long because of all the hard work and pressure, but they're also long because team members have reset their clocks to work according to Martian days, which are about 37 minutes longer than Earth days.

To lighten things up a little, mission manager Mark Adler has turned to music, getting the day started by serenading everyone with recordings appropriate to that day's chores or problems, according to Space.com.

In the nail-biting moments before Spirit's descent and landing in January, Adler acted on one team member's suggestion by playing Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy." When computer problems stalled Spirit for days, the team was greeted one morning with the the Beatles' "We Can Work it Out." And after a frustrating day of being unable to get Spirit rolling, there was Elvis Presley's "Stuck On You."

The crew, working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., hears most of the songs shortly after assembling for work. Adler and some colleagues pick the bulk of the music. "We get lots of suggestions from inside the team and out, and they do get used," he told space.com. "That is, when the suggestions are good ones."

To read the Spirit "playlist," along with annotations by Adler on the songs' meaning, see the Space.com article.

TGIF - It's HR
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