It's official! I'm now a proud member of the Mars Science Lab flight software development team. I get to write the software that runs on our next generation of mars rovers. It's a dream come true, to say the least, and I'll get to work with amazing and fun folks, too.
How much does that affect you? Are there a lot of foreign people on the site? I'm working on the P-8, which is an ITAR plane, but it's being built at the same place where all kinds of international customers are around, so they're pretty strict about watching out for that kind of thing.
So to clarify, MSL (Mars Science Lab) is the next generation of rover after MER (Spirit and Opportunity).
Yes, many of the people who worked on MER will continue on to MSL, while some have gotten promoted. But we can still instant message anyone on the former MER team if we have questions. Of course, many of the people you saw on TV are higher up managers rather than the ones working on day to day engineering implementations.