Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Curiosity Engineer to Speak at UC San Diego

The engineer in charge of telecommunications during Curiosity's entry and descent into the Martian atmosphere is speaking from noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 at UC San Diego's new Structural and Materials Engineering building. 

Brian Schratz will give a first-hand account of what it was like to work in mission control the night Curiosity, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, landed. He also will present an overview of the spacecraft's mission.

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Schratz is responsible for ensuring that Curiosity's hardware and software is designed correctly to transmit critical entry, descent and landing data in real time. He also coordinates communications with the three Mars orbiters, and NASA and European Space Agency tracking stations on Earth.

Schartz joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time in 2009, after receiving his master's in electrical engineering from Penn State in 2008 and serving as a Fulbright fellow in Norway. He also was a fellow in NASA's graduate Student Research Program. As a student, he led and developed instruments used for several balloon, rocket and satellite projects.

The event is sponsored by The California Space Grant Consortium, headquartered at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. For more information, email  tlazzouni@ucsd.edu or call  (858) 822-1597.

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