Engineering and technological challenges in robotic space and Earth exploration
Speaker: Dr Charles Elachi, Director, NASA Jet propulsion Laboratory
For more than 50 years, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been at the forefront of space exploration. In 1958, it built and operated the first US satellite, Explorer 1, and over the following decades sent robotic spacecraft first to the moon, and then to all of the solar system's planets. It currently has 23 spacecraft and 10 instruments conducting active missions, including its new flagship Mars rover mission, Mars Science Laboratory, and the most distant human-made objects, Voyagers 1 and 2.
The technologies developed for space exploration have also proved invaluable in remote sensing studies of Earth, its atmosphere, oceans, climate and geology, as well as in space-based astronomy. Over the past 30 years, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has designed and launched many instruments and spacecraft to search for exoplanets and examine space objects, including the Spitzer Space Telescope, the first to directly capture light from planets orbiting other stars.
Dr Charles Elachi, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, speaks about its past, present and future activities.
This lecture is made possible by the kind support of the ERA Foundation.