Matt Wallace provides a look at the next Mars Rover, Curiosity. Curiosity is a car-sized vehicle launched out of Kennedy Space Center in November 2011 onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft.
Over the last 15 years, the international space community has sent a bevy of spacecraft to Mars. These robotic explorers have provided a wealth of unexpected science information about our sister planet, and captured the interest of the public.
Matt’s lecture provided a look at the Mars Rover, Curiosity. Curiosity is a car-sized vehicle launched out of Kennedy Space Center in November 2011 onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft. It reached the Red Planet early in the morning of August 6, 2012 GMT, and landed using a new rocket-assisted ‘Sky Crane’ system.
Curiosity was designed to accommodate the most sophisticated suite of science instruments ever sent to the surface of Mars. Over an extended surface mission, it will search for signs of habitability, and help to answer one of the most fundamental questions in the medley of human exploration – could life exist or have existed somewhere other than our own planet?
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Recorded: July 17, 2012
For more information about future Space Group events visit the Specialist Group page on the Society website.
About the speaker:
MSL Flight System Manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Matt Wallace was the Flight System Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project, overseeing the pre-launch development of the spacecraft systems for the next Mars rover, Curiosity.
Mr Wallace graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1984, and served in the US submarine fast attach fleet. He obtained a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and joined NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California in 1991.
He has worked on various robotic planetary missions, including three Mars Rover Missions. Prior to his work on MSL, he managed the assembly, test, and launch operations team for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and led surface mission operations for the Opportunity Rover after it landed on Mars in 2004.
This Lecture event was sponsored by: