Tuesday October 15th
12:15 p.m.- 1:15 p.m. | WESTEC Theater-booth 2274
A Different Way to Get to Mars – The Engineering Challenge
Phase Lead and Development Manager
Entry, Descent and Landing
Mars Science Laboratory, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
As a teenager, all Adam Steltzner wanted to be was a rock star. Although music didn't become his career, he still sports an Elvis-style pompadour and went on to become one of the rock stars of technology and innovation for NASA--leading the team that engineered the remarkable landing of the Mars Rover "Curiosity" on the red planet in August of 2012.
As the face of the Mars Science Laboratory mission for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Steltzner serves as the chief landing engineer and landing system development manager and was responsible for the entry, descent and landing phase to ensure that the intricately designed Mars rover vehicle landed safely. This historic moment was hailed by President Obama who said, "The successful landing of Curiosity - the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet - marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future." Adam was personally called out by name during President Obama's thank you call to the team.