The von Kármán Lecture Series: 2023
January 2023 - How Do Missions Get Formed?
We’ll talk to one of our Robotics Engineers about project formulation and demonstration, looking at the process of generating ideas - from napkin sketch to prototype to development and testing.
February 2023 - Perseverance: Two Years on Mars
The Perseverance Rover has changed the way we look at Mars. We’ll talk with members of the Mars 2020 team about the past two years of operation and discovery.
March 2023 - To Boldly Go Where No Robots Have Gone Before: Solar System Exploration with Autonomous Robots at JPL
This talk provides an overview on the current research and development efforts on robotics autonomy at JPL, with an emphasis on enhancing the safety, efficiency, and performance of robotic mobility through the applications of risk-aware decision making and machine learning.
April 2023 - Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) Mission
NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission will measure the surface composition of Earth's deserts and arid regions, helping us understand the impacts dust has on the planet's climate.
May 2023 - InSight End of Mission: Our Time on Mars
The InSight Mission to Mars began its journey to the red planet in May 2018. Upon its arrival in November of that year, InSight began an ambitious mission to reveal the internal structure of Mars. The lander detected over 1000 Mars seismic events, studied the Martian weather, and even found magnetic “ghosts” from an old electrical field. The mission ended 4 years after it began, when the solar panels finally succumbed to the dust deposition that prevented them from generating power.
June 2023 - The Universe of Very Cold: The James Webb Space Telescope, MIRI, and the Cryocooler
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) takes incredible images using infrared light. The optics and science instruments must be incredibly cold, especially JWST’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which needs to be at a temperature of less than 7 kelvins, or -447 F. This is not possible without the Cryocooler, which keeps MIRI’s detectors cool.
July 2023 - More than Rocket Science: JPL’s COVID-19 Ventilator, VITAL
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, JPL spacecraft engineers worked with medical professionals to develop VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible locally), a breathing aid that helps critically ill COVID-19 patients and bolstered scarce stocks of traditional hospital ventilators. Learn from JPL Ventilator (VITAL) Operations Lead, Dr. Stacey Boland, how this VITAL work went from a conversation over morning coffee to a life-saving machine licensed in 42 countries.
August 24 - SunRISE: Studying Space Weather with SmallSats
NASA's Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, will send a fleet of six toaster sized SmallSats into orbit around Earth to work together as a radio telescope studying the Sun. SunRISE will help scientists better understand space weather events that have the capacity to damage spacecraft or even pose a threat to the safety of astronauts traveling through space.
September 21 - Solar Eclipses: Your Guide to the 2023/2024 Celestial Events
Two eclipses are crossing over most of the U.S. in the next few months! The first is an Annular Eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023, and the second will be a Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. An eclipse can be an awe-inspiring celestial event that drastically changes the appearance of the two biggest objects in our sky: the Sun and Moon. It also gives us the opportunity to study our Sun, Earth, and our space environment.