Today's commemorative link on Google's home page celebrates the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. It reminded me of my work as a cartographer for the USGS in Flagstaff, AZ from 1986- 1992. I worked in astrogeology mapping Mars using imagery from Viking missions. NASA's Viking Project found a place in history when it became the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft safely on the surface of Mars and return images of the surface.
Our team was working on a control point atlas of Mars. I have no idea if that atlas has ever been published. Someday I should contact some of my colleagues there and find out the status of that project.
Checking out USGS's Flagstaff website allowed me to reminisce about the folks I used to work with there. Many of the people are still there. My closest friend at the USGS works with planetary nomenclature. She names new stuff being discovered out there: planets' moons, other small bodies orbitting the sun in our solar system (yep, small bodies is the technical term for stuff such as astroids and comets) and beyond (nebulea and stars) How cool is that?
I worked with an amazing group of people there including Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker - a very kind and lovely couple. Carolyn is the most successful "comet hunter" to date.