Tuesday, September 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

NASA engineer returns to his UC Davis roots

Adam Steltzner. Courtesy photo

NASA engineer Adam Steltzner led the team that designed a crazy new approach to landing on Mars

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab lead engineer Adam Steltzner, who became a highly visible presence during last year’s Mars Curiosity Rover mission, will give a presentation at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, in UC Davis’ 1065 Kemper Hall.

His talk is titled “The Right Kind of Crazy: Risk, Reason and Engineering Curiosity to the Surface of Mars.” Admission is free.

A graduate of UCD, Steltzner led the innovative entry, descent and landing team that guided Curiosity to its successful touchdown inside Mars’ massive Gale Crater at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, 2012.

Steltzner and his EDL team — at one point, almost 2,000 people — devised the rocket-powered “sky crane” that hovered over the planet’s surface and gently lowered Curiosity on a cable.

Steltzner discusses the development of this unique landing system in NASA’s “Seven Minutes of Terror,” a short video that has become a YouTube sensation, with more than 2 million views. See: http://youtu.be/Ki_Af_o9Q9s.

Despite the well-deserved acclaim that has followed his work on Curiosity, Steltzner almost didn’t find his scientific muse: He wanted only to play bass and drums in various new-wave bands after a lackluster high school career.

But one night in 1984, entranced by the constellation Orion while returning home from a gig, he suddenly embraced higher education with fresh enthusiasm.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UCD in 1990, and followed that with a master’s degree in applied mechanics from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

His early projects with JPL’s Spacecraft Structures and Dynamics Group included Galileo, Cassini, the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers.

Among other achievements, Steltzner is credited by many for completely redefining the popular image of a rocket scientist, thanks to his rock ‘n’ roll background, pierced ears, snakeskin boots and duckbill haircut.

For more information, call 530-754-9666 or visit http://engineering.ucdavis.edu.
— UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
UC joins U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Nature’s beauty is in our own back yard

By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Jury finds Dixon man guilty of mortgage fraud

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
U.S., Arab allies hit Islamists in Syria, Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: These are the tanks we get

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Wind threatens firefighting effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Harmony Award nominations sought

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Street Food Rodeo rolls into West Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Wolk kicks off ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
So you want to be an entomologist?

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

Sheriff’s Office honored for safe-driving initiative

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Baha’is celebrate 50th anniversary in Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Downtown gift cards get a new perk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Unscheduled landing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Free community yard sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Forum will answer questions about new license law

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Applications open for Biberstein grants

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Daughter has her own opinions

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Brother’s drinking out of control

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Donors support school matinees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A big Explorit thanks!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Teacher tenure becomes key campaign issue

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

We must not stand for perpetual war

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Don’t cut all the trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

A great Day in the Country

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Davis field hockey team rights ship at Lassen

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Devil golfers soar past Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Blue Devils bounce back against Pleasant Grove

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Running game powered Devils in first football win

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women reach finals of East/West golf tourney

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
U11s get a win in an eventful weekend of youth football

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Giants beat L.A. in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
A’s support Samardzija in a win over Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7