Geoffrey A. Landis
NASA John Glenn Research Center
Mars, the cool red planet that is our nearest neighbor out from the sun, has recently been the target of an armada of explorers, robots with names like "Pathfinder" and "Spirit" and "Curiosity." The Curiosity rover held the world spellbound last summer with its dare-devil descent to the Martian surface by rappelling down from a rocket-powered platform
overhead in the thin air of Mars. Curiosity is the largest probe ever
land on another planet, a robot the size of a small car, with a laser
rock-vaporizing camera and the equivalent of a whole chemistry lab on wheels, and is beginning a two-year mission to drive around what may be an ancient Martian seabed and, eventually, to climb the five-kilometer-tall Mount Sharp.
Meanwhile, across the planet, the Mars Rover "Opportunity" is embarking on its tenth year of exploration. What's so exciting about Mars, anyway? What are these missions? Why
Mars fascinated the human race for centuries, and what might it tell us
about our own planet? And, where do we go from here?
Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis is a science fiction writer as well as being a Mars Explorer and a researcher at the John Glenn Research Center. He has degrees in physics and electrical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in physics from Brown University, and originally worked on solid state physics and inventing high-efficiency solar cell designs, before joining the NASA Mars exploration program as a member of the Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner Rover team.
He currently works on the science team of the Mars Exploration Rovers mission, operating the Opportunity rover on the surface of Mars. In addition to working on Mars, he is involved with
development of advanced technology for future spacecraft and in the
design of future missions, ranging from Solar Probe Plus, a mission to
the corona of the sun, and going out as far as proposed future missions into
Geoffrey A. Landis website:
NASA - Mars Exploration Program:
WHERE: The Market
25th Street next to the West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio)
WHEN: February 11, 2013
discussion starts around 7:00 pm
WHO: Sponsored by Case Western
Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN
ideastream, and the Market
Click here to download a pdf flyer of the event