“When we started our project, the ELC hadn't even launched, so we worked together to finish characterizing that,” he says.
At 25, Witoff is the youngest member of the Opals team. Just as the project's relatively low cost has required its engineers to try new approaches, its real-world requirements have provided the team with real-world experience that JPL will need in the years to come.
“You want to continually regenerate that,” says Fagrelius. “If you have too many people who've been here too long, they have this great experience base, but they might retire or there might be new technologies, new ways of looking at things, that they aren't as familiar with. So it's a hard balance to draw.”