MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Guy Webster, (818) 354-6278
INTERNET ADVISORY February 9, 2001
During a live webcast on Tuesday, Feb. 13, an experienced
mission planner for interplanetary spacecraft will explain how
to choose the best routes for getting to destinations such as
Mercury, Mars and Saturn.
Charley Kohlhase, who has led trip-planning efforts for
NASA missions to most of the planets in the solar system, will
also describe how spacecraft can use the gravity of one planet
to gain a "slingshot" boost toward a more distant destination.
The 90-minute live webcast, "From Ellipses to Gravity
Assist," from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif., will begin at 4:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. EST) at
Tuning in requires free pre-registration with
LiveOnTheNet at http://www.liveonthenet.com . Questions for
Kohlhase may be submitted to email@example.com .
Additional information about the webcast is available at
Kohlhase will begin with the simple notion of an ellipse,
easily created by young viewers, then move on to Kepler's laws
and curves such as parabolas and hyperbolas to slowly build a
framework for understanding how mission designers at JPL work
out their special flight paths to planets. The gravity-assist
strategy was first used in 1973 to send NASA's Mariner
spacecraft to Mercury by way of Venus. Six weeks ago, NASA's
Cassini spacecraft flew near Jupiter for a gravity assist
necessary for getting Cassini to Saturn.
Kohlhase designed spacecraft missions at JPL, including
Mariner, Viking, Voyager and Cassini missions, from the 1960s
through the 1990s, twice receiving NASA's Outstanding
Leadership Medal, and he continues to consult for JPL. He is
also an active artist, author and environmentalist, and has
innovated numerous projects and products to communicate space
science to the public.
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of