PV residents check out NASA rover

Courtesy/Jon Herges<p>
A NASA crew performs some testing outside Flagstaff in preparation for a forthcoming mission to the moon.

Courtesy/Jon Herges<p> A NASA crew performs some testing outside Flagstaff in preparation for a forthcoming mission to the moon.

PRESCOTT VALLEY - When NASA blasts its next lunar rover mission to the moon, employees at a local business can relish the fact that they helped get it there.

Prescott Valley residents Adam Towarnyckyj and Jon Herges, two CommSpeed employees, answered a request from the nation's space agency called to get a high-speed hookup.

"They were using us as a feed to the Kennedy Space Center," Towarnyckyj said.

The rover and its crew spent three days and three nights in late October doing some training in the Grey Mountains outside Flagstaff in preparation for a moon mission slated for 2020.

Herges and Towarnyckyj got the added thrill of driving out to the test site to check out the research.

Towarnyckyj said the area is a popular testing ground because it resembles moon terrain.

"The actual geology of the area is what they are looking for," he said. "This will help train the astronauts and NASA on what to look for."

Herges said the brief time they spent at the test site was special, adding that the NASA people were friendly and inviting about their work and the rover.

"Just the technology and thought process that it went through - it was really amazing," he said.

This is not the first time NASA went to CommSpeed for Internet access.

The space agency got broadband access from CommSpeed a year ago for some training at Cinder Lake and the meteor crater, according to Towarnyckyj.

And Towarnyckyj said NASA is going to do a two-week trial simulation possibly next year.

Check out Towarnyckyj's pictures at http://newhome.commspeed.net/gallery.

Contact the reporter at jsoifer@prescottaz.com