Early testing of rocket engines by students of Caltech led to the creation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After building and operating America's first satellite, Explorer 1, JPL sent robotic spacecraft to all of the solar system's planets.
Over the last 50 years, JPL spacecraft have visited every planet in our solar system and roved for more than 13 years on the surface of Mars. In addition, space borne telescopes have detected planets around neighboring systems, studied the composition and dynamic of galaxies across the Universe, and monitored changes in our planet's surface and atmosphere.
This presentation will discuss the challenges of robotic space and Earth exploration, highlights of Curiosity's recent findings on Mars, and present some of the engineering and technological challenges for future missions of exploration and discovery.