Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, who was recently named chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, has stepped down as project scientist for NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity. He is succeeded by Ashwin Vasavada (PhD '98) of JPL.
A Caltech-led team of Mars Science Laboratory scientists has found that a surprisingly Earth-like martian rock offers new insight into the history of Mars's interior and suggests parts of the red planet may be more like our own than we ever knew.
John Grotzinger, Caltech’s Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology and project scientist for Curiosity—JPL’s newest Mars rover, exploring the floor of Gale Crater—will describe its discoveries so far during a free public lecture on Wednesday, April 24.
An ankle- or hip-deep stream once flowed with force across the surface of Mars in the very spot where the Curiosity rover is currently exploring. The finding provides new information about a once wet environment in Gale Crater.
President Barack Obama called the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Monday morning to congratulate the Mars Science Laboratory team on the successful landing of Curiosity on the red planet. He said that the accomplishment "embodies the American spirit" and that the White House could not be more excited or grateful.
Since Curiosity touched down safely on Mars, most of her time has been taken up by a series of checkouts, but she has relayed hundreds of images back to Earth, giving the science team plenty to study and discuss.
The mood at JPL late Sunday night was overwhelmingly, almost deliriously, celebratory. The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, touched down safely on Mars and minutes later relayed its first images back to Earth.