Mars Surface Exploration: Past, Present, Future

Science & Nature
Mars Surface Exploration: Past, Present, Future
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Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022 1440 Mars Surface Exploration: Past, Present, Future Brought to you by Pacific Science Center + Gather
Jun 5, 2022
12:00 am

On July 4, 1976, NASA landed its first spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Called Viking, this expedition included only a lander with a long arm. Due to the vast expense and relatively little yield for the effort, the mission wasn’t repeated. Fast forward to the 1990’s, and NASA undertook a less expensive but very aggressive mission – Pathfinder. Pathfinder changed the game for the exploration of Mars and launched the programs we know today. While human curiosity for Mars has remained constant, the questions we seek answers to have changed and evolved, requiring different tools. What’s changed? What’s remained the same? And what’s next? Chris Voorhees, former NASA Lead Engineer, shares his experiences as a lead engineer working on Mars Rovers over the decades – from the early days of Pathfinder to the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity missions, and finally the work he and his team at First Mode have undertaken for the latest launch: Mars 2020, Perseverance. Chris also discusses insights and lessons learned over two decades of Mars exploration, examining the past, the present, and the future.

Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center is an independent, not-for-profit institution in Seattle and has been a gateway to access science education and innovation for nearly 60 years. The institution's mission is to ignite curiosity in every child and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us. Prior to COVID-19, Pacific Science Center's award-winning, interactive programs reached nearly 1 million people each year – in their communities across the state of Washington, classrooms, and on the Seattle Center campus and at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue. Throughout the pandemic, Pacific Science Center has continued to serve the community and ignite curiosity from everywhere through digital and virtual programming. Pacific Science Center began as the United States Science Pavilion during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Millions came to explore the wonders of science during the World’s Fair and after closing, the Science Pavilion was given new life as the private not-for-profit Pacific Science Center, the first U.S. museum founded as a science and technology center. On July 22, 2010, Pacific Science Center was declared a City of Seattle Landmark.
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