College of Science

SEMINAR: Gregory Villar [Jet Propulsion Lab]

Moving the joystick: What it really takes to operate a Mars rover

Jan 24, 2013 11:14 AM to Jan 24, 2013 1:14 PM at

Gregory Villar

JPL and CPP Alum

On August 5, 2012, at about 10:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) began its mission to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support microbial life. Also known as the Curiosity rover, MSL is the most sophisticated piece of technology ever sent to our neighboring red planet, equipped with 10 scientific payloads, a total of 17 cameras, an arm, a drill, and a battery powered by heat from naturally decaying radioactive material. With this suite of instruments and capabilities, Curiosity is able to perform as a geologist and geochemist, in addition to atmospheric scientist and particle physicist. However, although the rover is able to perform the functions of all these scientific roles, it actually takes the collaborative effort of over 500 people to "move the joystick" behind the scenes. Join Gregory as he sheds light on what it really takes to operate a rover on Mars.

Refreshments at 10:50 AM. Seminar begins at 11:00 AM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014