Montage of our solar system

Three varied solar system locations--the Sun, Pluto and Jupiter's moon Europa--will be featured in two free public lectures on Thursday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, and on Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m. in The Forum at Pasadena City College. Seating is limited and will be on a first- come, first-served basis.

The lectures, entitled "Ice & Fire: Traveling to Difficult Solar System Destinations," will feature the three planned missions of the Outer Planets/Solar Probe project. The three are Europa Orbiter, a mission to look for evidence of liquid oceans on Jupiter's icy moon, Europa; Solar Probe, which will travel closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft; and Pluto-Kuiper Express, which will fly by Pluto and its moon Charon, and possibly into the Kuiper Disk, the cold, dark outer fringes of our solar system. The three missions are tentatively scheduled for launch between 2003 and 2007

The lectures will be presented by Robert Staehle, deputy manager for the Outer Planets/Solar Probe project. Staehle previously served as Ice and Fire Preprojects manager. His space exploration career began when his student experiment "Bacteria Aboard Skylab" flew on the first American space station. With his aeronautical and astronautical engineering background, Staehle worked on the Voyager mission and contributed to lunar and planetary exploration studies. He learned from a variety of industries how to cut mission development costs and lead time dramatically, knowledge well-suited to the goals of the Outer Planets/Solar Probe missions.

Please note that the lectures on Deep Space 1, originally scheduled for May 14 and 15, have been rescheduled for August 20 at JPL and August 21 at PCC. The speaker will be Dr. Marc Rayman, chief mission engineer and deputy mission manager.

This lecture is part of the von Karman Lecture Series sponsored monthly by the JPL Media Relations Office. A web site on the lecture series is located at For directions and other information, call the Media Relations Office at (818) 354-5011.

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