Morning Fill Up with Adam Steltzner

Jet Propulsion Lab Engineer, NASA
Held November 29, 2017 at 7am at The Garage

Adam Steltzner is an explorer of the solar system, student of human nature, engineer, and general loose cannon (lol!). He is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer who helped pioneer the breakthrough technique for landing a one-ton rover on Mars (are you kidding me?!). He was recently honored with admission into the National Academy of Engineering. He was also named a GQ Man of the Year (just sayin'!).

He is recognized for development of the Mars Curiosity rover's entry, descent and landing system and for contributions to control of parachute dynamics. He has worked on multiple NASA flight projects, including Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, and the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity). The earlier rovers--Pathfinder's Sojourner, as well as Spirit and Opportunity--landed on Mars with the help of specially designed airbags.

Adam's next Mars rover, Curiosity, was so much heavier it needed a different design for entry, descent and landing. He was involved in the design and led the team that developed the entry, descent and landing system, which included the innovative sky crane landing system that placed Curiosity on Mars in August 2012. The technology will also be used to land the Mars 2020 rover.

Adam is currently serving as chief engineer for the Mars 2020 Project, and is also manager of the Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Access Office.