Exploring NASA Space Missions: Curiosity Rover and Beyond


Date Thursday October 18th 2012
Time 5:00-6:30pm (5:00-6:00 presentation and Q&A, followed by networking until 6:30)
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore space?  Engineers and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) get to do that every day!  From Earth science to astrophysics to planetary exploration, JPL is responsible for executing exciting and challenging robotic space missions like the on-going Mars Science Laboratory. 

Kendra Short, Manager of the Mechanical Systems Division at JPL, will share with you an overview of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will discuss several of its missions that are in flight or in development.  A special focus will be provided on the status of the Curiosity rover, as well as sharing stories about the mechanical design challenges getting it ready for launch.  She will also highlight some of the future technology developments on-going at JPL including a joint venture between JPL and PARC called the “Printable Spacecraft.”


Kendra Short has been the manager of the Mechanical Systems Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2004.  She has worked at JPL for 25 years.  She started her career as a system engineer on advanced mission concepts and flight projects.  She then served as a mechanical hardware engineer on Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) delivering flight hardware, working system assembly and test activities, as well as mission operations.  She has held several management positions including Group Supervisor for Structures and Configuration, Deputy Section Manager for Mechanical Engineering, and Project Element Manager for the Space Interferometer Mission.  In addition to her management position, Kendra is currently the Principal Investigator for the "Printable Spacecraft" technology activity funded by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program.  She earned a BS in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1989 and an MS in Aero/Astro from Stanford University in 1992.

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