Curiosity's mission to the red planet will be covered in detail. Topics to bediscussed include a bit on the history of Mars rovers at JPL, the scientificmotivation for Curiosity, and the preparations for launch two days afterThanksgiving in 2011. The science suite on board this one ton mega rover will bepresented , as well as the engineering challenges involved in getting Curiosity tothe launch pad, traveling 352 million miles to Mars over 8.5 months, and‘sticking the landing ’ following the so called ‘seven minutes of terror’ on August5th, 2012. Early mission science results will be presented as well, followed bypop culture reaction to the rover landing.Todd Barber is a JPL senior propulsion engineer, wrapping up two decades as leadpropulsion engineer on the Cassini mission to Saturn, following part time work on theMars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, Deep Impact mission, and the Mars ScienceLaboratory (MSL) mission, which landed the large rover Curiosity on the red planeton August 5 th , 2012. Cassini was launched on October 15, 1997 on its two billionmile, seven year journey to the ringed planet. It “took the plunge” into Saturn’satmosphere in 2017 after thirteen years in orbit around Saturn. The MER teamlaunched twin rovers to the red planet in June and July of 2003, and Spirit andOpportunity lasted six years and fourteen years, respectively, into their threemonth missions. Todd also worked as the lead impactor propulsion engineeron Deep Impact, which successfully crashed into Comet Tempel 1 onIndependence Day, 2005, at twenty three thousand miles per hour. Toddrecently completed working on the Dawn mission, an ion propulsion missionto the two largest main belt asteroids, Vesta and Ceres. He also recentlybegan supporting the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and theMars2020 project. Much to Todd’s delight, he is now supporting theVoyager mission as well, more than forty years after launch.Mr. Barber worked on the Galileo project for over seven years and his primary responsibility was gettingGalileo into Jupiter orbit on December 7, 1995. Todd also worked part time on the Space Infra RedTelescope Facility (SIRTF) mission and on the Stardust mission, as well as the Mars Sample Return mission anda Mars airplane study. Todd received NASA's Exceptional Achievement Award in 1996 for his work on Galileo.In 2018, Mr. Barber was also honored to receive NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal for heading upCassini’s propulsion team for nearly two decades.Mr. Barber is a native of Wichita, Kansas, and attended MIT between 1984 and 1990, obtaining B.S. and M.S.degrees in aerospace engineering, with a humanities concentration in music. He is also a composer of churchchoral music, with two pieces published to date. His hobbies include singing charitably and professionally,playing the piano, snagging degree confluences (exact integer latitude/longitude intersections), visiting all theU .S. tri state corners and national parks, playing basketball (though it’s been a while), and amateur astronomy.
MP4 video file of the presentation02:16:59