Dr. Steven Squyres from Cornell to Keynote SC19

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Steve Squyres from Cornell will keynote SC19.

Dr. Steven Squyres from Cornell University will keynote the SC19 conference in Denver. His talk will be entitled “Exploring the Solar System with the Power of Technology.”

Steve Squyres’ research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, planetary gamma-ray and x-ray spectroscopy. Research for which he is best known includes study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa.

Between 2004 and 2018, mankind spent more than 5,600 cumulative days exploring Mars—yet the principal investigator on those missions never needed a spacesuit. That’s because Spirit and Opportunity, NASA’s two Mars rovers, were guided by the computing power that made it possible for Dr. Steven Squyres to oversee their findings from as much as 250 million miles away. Dr. Squyres, the James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences at Cornell University, will be the keynote speaker for SC19 on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. in Denver, Colorado.

This year NASA celebrates a half-century since Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, using onboard computers that were famously advanced for their time, and just as famously rudimentary compared to the devices most people carry in their pockets today. Unlike the Apollo technology, the Mars rovers had no humans to operate them in person, and even radio commands could take as long as 24 minutes to travel from the Earth. The need for the rovers to carry out complex procedures and navigate unforgiving terrain meant their reliance on computers and software was central to their mission success.

Massive Contributions to Science and Exploration

In addition to his role in the Mars rover program, Dr. Squyres took part in NASA’s Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn, the Magellan mission to Venus, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission. He continues to contribute to other Mars-related projects as a co-investigator, and has researched the prospect of a habitable liquid water ocean on the Jovian moon Europa.

Dr. Squyres is a former chair of both the NASA Advisory Council and the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee, and led the most recent planetary decadal survey for the National Research Council. He has been awarded the American Astronomical Society’s Harold C. Urey Prize, the Space Science Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Astronautical Society’s Carl Sagan Award, the National Space Society’s Wernher von Braun Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The SC19 Keynote will be held Tuesday, November 19, 2019, and is open to all registered SC19 attendees and exhibitors.

Registration is now open for SC19, which takes place in Denver from Nov. 17-22 in Denver.

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