Six years after its dramatic arrival at Mars, the car-sized Curiosity rover continues to reveal Mars as a once-habitable planet. Early in Mars’ history, rivers and lakes persisted for millions of years and created the landforms that Curiosity explores today. This talk will cover the latest findings from the mission, the challenges of exploring Mars, and what lies ahead.
Dr. Ashwin Vasavada is a planetary scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Currently he is the Project Scientist for NASA’s Curiosity rover that began development in 2003 and successfully reached Mars in August, 2012. He now leads the international team of scientists as they explore Gale Crater on the martian surface. He also has participated in several other spacecraft missions, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He holds a B.S. in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from Caltech.