Dispatches

February 18th, 2015 | 9:30am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chuck Coker

The proper term is “government facility,” but it feels like an old university most of the time. Asbestos in the ceilings, paint fresh from 1979. Fluorescent lighting, emergency signage, old handset telephones on the wall in every floor. My role here, in a place where the best of the best tackle noble, courageous goals—the taking of soil samples from Mars and the landing of spacecrafts on comets—is comparatively small. The comforting routine of support, set-up, clean-up; prepare, take care.


At 4:30 in the afternoon, Im scanning a few papers at the multi-functional device (apparently they...