The von Kármán Lecture Series: 2016
January 2016 - Deep Space Atomic Clock
NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) Technology Demonstration Mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been maturing the latest Atomic Clock technologies into a smaller, less massive package suitable for installation on a variety of deep space probes to enhance navigation precision and gravity science across the solar system.
February 2016 - The Europa Mission
After many years of study, NASA has approved a new start for a spaceflight mission to investigate the mysteries of Jupiter's moon Europa.
March 2016 - In the Blink of the Eye: What 10 Years at Mars Can Tell Us About the Planet
Our eyes in the sky at Mars include the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting Mars for 10 years.
April 2016 - CubeSats: Big Goals, Tiny Package
We’ll talk about how NASA, companies, and students are building and flying small spacecraft, and what types of missions they are achieving.
May 2016 - Fire and Ice... and Methane: Exploring Mars and Titan Using Laboratory and Field Analogues on Earth
The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has tantalized humanity for centuries. This search has led us to look outward, towards places that may have life (Mars) or the chemical precursors for life (Titan).
June 2016 - 2015-2016 El Niño Winter and California Water: What Did We See From Space?
A panel of experts will be on hand to describe measurements over the past season in California focused on groundwater and mountain snowpack results and to discuss what these measurements might tell us of the future.
July 2016 - To Boldly Go… Well, You Know: NASA’s Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt
Dr. Marc Rayman will give a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the Dawn mission and its use of ion propulsion as well as its two exotic destinations.
August 2016 - The Rosetta Mission: Comet C-G up Close
The lecture will not only describe this upcoming landing but will tell you what we have learned from Rosetta about comets and the formation of the solar system.
September 2016 - Revealing Saturn: Cassini Science Highlights and the Grand Finale
What new puzzles will Cassini solve before it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere rather than risk crashing into one of Saturn’s ocean worlds and contaminating it?
October 2016 - Asteroid Anchors, Rock Climbing Robots, Gecko Grippers, and Other Ways to Stick in Space
This talk will present the work of JPL’s Robotic Rapid Prototyping Lab. This includes grippers for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which plans to extract a 15-ton boulder from the surface and alter the asteroid’s orbit, a method that could prevent future impacts to the Earth.
November 2016 - The James Webb Space Telescope: Successor to Hubble
Tonight’s talk will describe JWST as a whole, but will focus on the Mid-Infrared Instrument, one of the four instruments attached to JWST and that was built as a partnership between JPL and a consortium of European astronomical institutes.
December 2016 - Spinning Black Holes, Exploding Stars, and Hyperluminous Pulsars: Recent Results from the NuSTAR Satellite
This talk will present some of the highlights from the first four years of NuSTAR observations, including the surprising discovery of a new class of hyperluminous neutron stars, measurements of how fast black holes spin, and unique insight into the physics of supernova explosions.