Who: Bobak Ferdowsi & Adam Steltzner
What: More than just Curiosity
When: January 29, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
(Doors open at 5:00 p.m.)
Where: Mississippi State University's Colvard Student Union - Ballroom
The world watched last August as the Curiosity rover descended onto the surface of Mars. On January 29, two of the project's most visible engineers will visit Mississippi State to share how this unmanned mission does more than just satisfy idle curiosity.
Bobak “Mohawk” Ferdowsi and Adam “Elvis” Steltzner will begin their Jan. 29 visit with robotics demonstrations from high school participants from the Mississippi BEST Robotics competition. The day’s events will continue at 6 p.m. in the Colvard Student Union with the men’s presentation, which is free and open to the public.
Ferdowsi and Steltzner became Internet sensations with their unique hairstyles and enthusiasm during NASA's broadcast around the world during the agency's live stream of mission control as Curiosity entered Mars' atmosphere—a project they had integral parts in completing.
Essentially a car-sized robot, the Curiosity rover launched in November 2011, beginning a nine-month journey to the red planet. Culminating in what was dubbed "seven minutes of terror" the world watched the landing knowing it would end either in one of the most sophisticated rover landings in history or in a multi-million dollar pile of rubble. It took precise timing, months of planning and a large team to successfully land the device on Mars.
Ferdowsi, a native of Philadelphia, Penn., served as the flight director of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover cruise mission phase and subsequent surface mission. Steltzner, a native of California, helped design, test and build the sky crane landing system for the Curiosity rover. He was also the development manager for the entry, descent and landing phase of the mission.
The event is open to the public with free admission and made possible by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation as part of the Bagley College of Engineering's distinguished lecture series. We hope you are able to attend!
Mars Curiosity (Facebook Page)
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror (YouTube)
NASA geek chic: Mohawks in, pocket protectors out (USA Today)
Crazy Smart: When A Rocker Designs A Mars Lander (NPR)