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Working MST -- Martian Standard Time

Working around the clock is tiring enough on Earth. But on Mars, it's even worse.

The martian day, called "Sol", is 39 minutes longer than a day on Earth. For NASA's two robotic rovers, the longer day makes little difference. But for scientists and engineers operating the rover, the longer day becomes a nightmare. NPR's Joe Palca explains why.

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Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.