September 16, 2003
Just a few days before NASA's Galileo mission makes its grand finale, Dr. Rosaly Lopes, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will discuss the legacy of the mission in two free lectures. "Galileo's Odyssey – The Worlds of Jupiter" will be presented Thursday, Sept. 18, at JPL, and Friday, Sept. 19, at Pasadena City College.
"Galileo was a fantastic mission, and it returned great science findings despite many challenges that at times seemed insurmountable," said Lopes, an expert in planetary volcanism and science team member for the Galileo near infrared mapping spectrometer, an instrument that has returned information about active volcanoes. "Personally, the best thing for me was to work with a team that got around every difficulty to make the mission a great success."
Galileo is one of NASA's most successful missions, providing spectacular findings about Jupiter and its moons, from the sizzling volcanoes of Io to the ice floes of Europa and the enigmatic icy terrains of Ganymede and Callisto. Launched in 1989, Galileo flew past Venus, Earth and two asteroids before arriving at Jupiter in 1995. The mission was originally designed to observe Jupiter and its moons for two years. Its remarkable resilience, due to its power source, allowed the mission to continue for nearly six more years. Galileo leaves us with a completely new view of these mysterious worlds before it ends with a plunge into Jupiter's atmosphere on Sunday, Sept. 21.
Now a scientist working on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn, Lopes has worked on Galileo since 1991. She discovered numerous previously unknown volcanoes on Io and co-discovered very high temperature volcanism on this strange moon. Originally from Brazil, Lopes has a degree in astronomy and a doctorate in planetary geology from the University of London, England.
Both lectures are free, open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Thursday lecture at JPL, located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway, will be held in the von Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will be in Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. For more information, call (818) 354-0112 or go to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures/sep03.cfm, where the Thursday lecture will be webcast live and archived for later viewing.
Contact: Charli Schuler (818) 393-5464