This paper is a selective study of the mathematics and people involved with a specific space mission, namely the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission launched in 2003. The specific mathematics of the MER mission are sought uncovered through interviews with applied scientists who worked with different aspects of the mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Some of the more specific questions attempted answered through this article for instance concerns if the aerospace industry, exemplified by the MER mission, calls for new developments in mathematics or if it mostly relies on well established theories; how much independence the scientists have in their daily work and in their choosing of solutions to problems and whether or not this variate within different areas of the mission; how ready the aerospace industry is for new solutions and new ideas; and to what extent the economics of the missions play a part in this.
Jankvist, Uffe Thomas and Toldbod, Bjørn
"Mars Exploration Rover: Mathematics and People behind the Mission,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol4/iss2/3