Science and Exploration

NASA Ames Co-Hosts International Planetary Probe Workshop

By Marc Boucher
Press Release
June 19, 2013
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NASA Ames Co-Hosts International Planetary Probe Workshop
An artist's concept depicting the heatshield separation as the Galileo Entry Probe enters the atmosphere of Jupiter. 1989. Image credit: NASA Ames / Chris Kallas.
NASA Ames / Chris Kallas

One of humankind’s most challenging ventures, sending space vehicles to other worlds, will draw 150 international experts to San Jose State University (SJSU) June 17-21 for the 10th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW-10).
The event is co-hosted by SJSU and NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. It is not open to the public but is open to members of the media. Reporters should contact SJSU Media Relations Director Pat Harris to RSVP.

“This workshop encourages international cooperation in planetary probe missions, new technologies and scientific discoveries,” said SJSU Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Periklis Papalopoulos. “In addition, students from around the world will present their work and interact with the leaders in their discipline areas.”

Highlights will include the presentation of the Alvin Seiff Memorial Award to James O. Arnold. Arnold and Seiff were contemporaries, building careers around President Kennedy’s push to put a man on the moon. Both men played key roles in determining the aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics of the Apollo re-entry vehicle and other NASA space exploration missions.

This year’s keynote speaker is David Korsmeyer, director of engineering at Ames, who will discuss the past, present and future of planetary research at Ames.

The workshop also will include sessions on many topics, such as missions to the “giant planets” (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune); missions to Mars (in the aftermath of the successful landing of Mars rover Curiosity in August 2012); and key enabling technologies and instrumentation for missions to “airless bodies” (asteroids, comets and moons).

In addition, Ames will feature an exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., featuring artifacts and models of current and previous spacecraft missions. The showcase of memorabilia will be on display from Thursday June 20-July 31, 2013.

The public is invited to view a full-size mockup of the Galileo probe (which entered Jupiter’s atmosphere in 1995), test models from Ames’ Arc Jet Facility and Hypervelocity Free-Flight Facility, models of future satellites, and much more.

The chief engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Project Robert Manning also will be present to discuss the successful landing of Curiosity Rover on Mars. Manning will speak at 5 p.m. PDT on ?uesday, June 18 at the Tech Museum. His talk is entitled “The Challenges of Going to Mars: Mars Science Laboratory” and is open to the public. Manning was responsible for ensuring that the design, the test program and the team, working together, would result in a mission that would work.

Sponsors include SJSU, NASA, the European Space Agency, the National Center for Advanced Small Spacecraft Technologies, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Idaho, Analytical Graphics Inc., Earthrise Space Inc. and Science and Technology Corp.

For more information about the 10th International Planetary Probe Workshop, visit:

For more information about the Alvin Seiff Memorial Award, visit:

For more information about the Robert Manning presentation at the Tech Museum, visit:

For more information about NASA Ames, visit:

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