UW News

November 18, 1997

Engineer behind Mars Sojourner rover to speak at UW

WHO — Henry Stone, Technical Manager of the Mars Pathfinder Rover Control & Navigation System at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

WHAT — Seminar titled “The Mars Pathfinder Microrover — A New Era in Planetary Exploration”

When the Sojourner rover crept out of the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft on July 5 and began exploring the surface of Mars, it captured the imagination of scientists, students and the general public back on earth like few events in recent memory. In addition to transmitting breathtaking images of the Martian landscape, Sojourner collected critical scientific data on the geology, morphology and chemical composition of the Martian surface, highlighted the success of NASA’s new “faster, better, cheaper” approach to space exploration and secured a vital role for unmanned vehicles in upcoming missions. Stone and his team already are at work designing autonomous mobile vehicles for Mars missions in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

This presentation will cover the highlights of the Mars Pathfinder mission and the design and control of the Sojourner vehicle. It will include pictures taken by the lander and rover, video clips of mission operations, a video containing eight rover movies showing sojourner navigating its way across the Martian surface and a 3-D animated playback of data collected by Sojourner. A short question-and-answer session will follow.

WHERE — Room 134 in Sieg Hall, located just west of the HUB on the UW campus

WHEN — 11:30 a.m. FRIDAY (Nov. 21)

For more information, contact Mark Campbell, UW Asst. Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, at (206) 543-6725 or mcamp@u.washington.edu

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