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InSight Mission to Study the Interior of Mars: Stu Spath

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Lockheed Martin Space

Engineering Building - Titan Conference Room

12257 South Wadsworth Boulevard

Littleton, CO 80127

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On May 5, 2018, NASA’s latest Mars lander was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on its journey to the Red Planet. The primary objective of InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) is to illuminate the fundamentals of formation and evolution of terrestrial planets by investigating the interior structure and processes of Mars. On November 26, 2018, the InSight flight system arrived at Mars and meticulously executed necessary activities to safely touch down. The primary science instrument (a seismometer) has been successfully placed on the Martian soil using the robotic arm and the secondary payload (a heat flow probe) is begin prepared for its deployment next month. Science operations are scheduled to last through November 2020.

This month’s presentation hightlights the key spacecraft design challenges for the development team, discusses the major events during the integration and test campaign, and details the sequence of events during entry/descent/landing (aka seven minutes of terror).

Stu Spath is the Director of Deep Space Exploration at Lockheed Martin Space in Waterton, CO. Stu has served as the InSight Program Manager since the proposal phase in early 2011. Other previous positions include: Deputy Program Manager for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), Proposal Manager for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN); Chief Systems Engineer for Mars Telecom Orbiter (MTO); and Observatory Engineering Team Manager for Spitzer Space Telescope. Stu holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.

US citizenship required


For questions: Chris Zeller 303-939-4636 czeller@ball.com

Additional info: aiaa-rm.org

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Date and Time

Location

Lockheed Martin Space

Engineering Building - Titan Conference Room

12257 South Wadsworth Boulevard

Littleton, CO 80127

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