SAN JOSE, Calif. – Luke Dubord, avionics systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, gave several hundred engineers a tour of the Red Planet through the eyes of the Mars rover in a DESIGN West keynote here.
Dubord represented more than a thousand NASA engineers and several thousand contractors who helped build and land Rover. The 900-kilogram vehicle has just started its planned trip toward Mount Sharp where it will study the planet’s geology.
“We’d really appreciate it if as a community of engineers you join us on that journey of exploration,” he said.
In an hour-long talk Dubord described the guts of the Rover, some of the science it will conduct—including finding the oldest stream bed in the universe—and the vehicle’s unusual landing via a “Skycrane” that lowered it to the surface.
“It’s one of those things you feel is too crazy to be true--even in the engineering team people asked, ‘Is this really what we are going to do?’” he said.
The 899 Kg Mars Rover packs 70 Kg of instruments.