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Todd Barber Mars Curiosity Presentation 

01 Feb, 2021 14:33

Curiosity's mission to the red planet will be covered in detail. Topics to be
discussed include a bit on the history of Mars rovers at JPL, the scientific
motivation for Curiosity, and the preparations for launch two days after
Thanksgiving in 2011. The science suite on board this one ton mega rover will be
presented , as well as the engineering challenges involved in getting Curiosity to
the 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 August
5th, 2012. Early mission science results will be presented as well, followed by
pop culture reaction to the rover landing.

Todd Barber is a JPL senior propulsion engineer, wrapping up two decades as lead
propulsion engineer on the Cassini mission to Saturn, following part time work on the
Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, Deep Impact mission, and the Mars Science
Laboratory (MSL) mission, which landed the large rover Curiosity on the red planet
on August 5 th , 2012. Cassini was launched on October 15, 1997 on its two billion
mile, seven year journey to the ringed planet. It “took the plunge” into Saturn’s
atmosphere in 2017 after thirteen years in orbit around Saturn. The MER team
launched twin rovers to the red planet in June and July of 2003, and Spirit and
Opportunity lasted six years and fourteen years, respectively, into their three
month missions. Todd also worked as the lead impactor propulsion engineer
on Deep Impact, which successfully crashed into Comet Tempel 1 on
Independence Day, 2005, at twenty three thousand miles per hour. Todd
recently completed working on the Dawn mission, an ion propulsion mission
to the two largest main belt asteroids, Vesta and Ceres. He also recently
began supporting the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the
Mars2020 project. Much to Todd’s delight, he is now supporting the
Voyager 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 getting
Galileo into Jupiter orbit on December 7, 1995. Todd also worked part time on the Space Infra Red
Telescope Facility (SIRTF) mission and on the Stardust mission, as well as the Mars Sample Return mission and
a 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 up
Cassini’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 church
choral 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 the
U .S. tri state corners and national parks, playing basketball (though it’s been a while), and amateur astronomy.

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