AE Seminar - Dr. Charles Elachi
Curiosity’s Landing on Mars and the Future of Space Exploration
Dr. Charles Elachi
Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Wednesday, August 29
Clough Commons, Rm152
Abstract: Over the last 50 years, JPL spacecraft have visited every planet in our solar system and roved for more than 8 years on the surface of Mars. In addition, space borne telescopes have detected planets around neighboring systems, studied the composition and dynamic of galaxies across the Universe, and monitored changes in our planet’s surface and atmosphere. In this presentation, Dr. Charles Elachi will discuss the challenges of robotic space and Earth exploration, highlights of Curiosity’s recent landing on Mars, and present some of the engineering and technological challenges for future missions of exploration and discovery.
Bio: Dr. Charles Elachi has served as the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since May 2001. He is also vice president of the California Institute of Technology. He received his B.Sc. (’68) in physics from University of Grenoble, France and both a M.Sc. (’69) and Ph.D. (’71) in electrical sciences from the California Institute of Technology. He also has a M.Sc. (‘83) degree in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA (’79) from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Elachi joined JPL in 1970 and is a professor of electrical engineering and planetary science at Caltech. He has been a principal investigator on a number of NASA-sponsored studies and flight projects including the Shuttle Imaging Radar series, the Magellan Imaging Radar, and the Cassini Titan Radar. As JPL’s Director for Space and Earth Science Programs (1982-2001), he was responsible for the development of numerous flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration and astrophysics. Dr. Elachi is the author of over 200 publications in the fields of active microwave remote sensing and electromagnetic theory, and holds several patents in those fields. He has lectured in more than 20 countries about space exploration and Earth observation. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of AIAA and IEEE and has received numerous honors over the course of his career.