Solar System Exploration by Remote Imaging

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21D (San Jose Convention Center)
A triumph of 20th-21st century science and engineering is how much we have learned about the solar system without actually going anywhere ourselves, by putting our senses on automatic stations and sending them where we can never go. This session will discuss some notable aspects of the current exploration of the solar system, which started in 1957 with the first primitive artificial satellites and currently uses complex state-of-the-art “unmanned space stations” on and around the planets and their satellites. These probes have returned a torrent of images and information that provides an entirely new sense of the planetary system in which we live. Space exploration has required the development of novel and innovative engineering and technologies, including the ability of remote stations to work successfully for years in extremely harsh environments and, to an increasing extent, to be self-aware and self-guided. Speakers will describe three particularly noteworthy aspects of this research: the study of Mars by mobile remote laboratories on its surface (acting as “proxy geologists”); the complexity of the Saturnian system shown by the international Cassini-Huygens probe’s decade-long study; and a look at present and future planning and engineering development for further missions.
Rolf Sinclair, University of Maryland, College Park
Fuk K. Li, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Rolf Sinclair, University of Maryland, College Park
Dawn Sumner, University of California, Davis
Looking for Life in All the Right Places
Linda J. Spilker, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Cassini Science Highlights: Surprises in the Saturn System
Kevin Hand, California Institute of Technology
Achieving the Impossible: Planning and Engineering New Space Probes
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