I’m currently attending a meeting for the Herschel SPIRE instrument control centre (SPIRE is one of the instruments on Herschel). Large international collaborations like the SPIRE instrument have a lot of meetings. Sometimes it seems that meetings are all that we do. But, in spite of that, we have come a very long way in the 7 years I’ve been working on Herschel. There’s a lot to be done, and not much time to do it since launch is rapidly approaching, but, taking a step back it’s clear that we’ve come a very long way. I remember meetings where we were deciding what to do in the most general possible way. Now we’re talking about what are really small details of implementation.
We have an instrument that basically works and data reduction software that essentially does it’s job. There are many i’s to dot and t’s to cross, and many more meetings to be held, but we are getting there.