In 2000 Hubbard became NASA’s first Mars program director (the “Mars Czar”) and successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures of Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander. His new book “Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery”, describes his work on NASA’s Mars Program. The lecture will trace the history of Mars exploration and illustrate the intersection of science, engineering, politics and personalities that led to the new and successful Mars program of the last decade. The talk will outline the goals and discoveries of Odyssey, Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Phoenix and Mars Science Lab. At the end we take a look ahead at the next decade and the plans for a Mars Sample Return.
G. Scott Hubbard has been recognized as an innovator and leader in science, technology and management for more than 35 years - including 20 years with NASA. He currently is a Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University where he focuses on planetary exploration, especially Mars and also serves as the Director of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. From 2002 to 2006 Hubbard was the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. In 2003 he served full time as the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), where he directed impact testing that demonstrated the definitive physical cause of the loss of the Columbia. In 2000 Hubbard served as NASA’s first Mars program director and successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures. His book entitled, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery”, describes his work on NASA’s Mars Program. He is the founder of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, establishing it in 1998. He conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission with its airbag landing and was the manager for NASA’s highly successful Lunar Prospector Mission. Earlier in his career, Hubbard led a small start-up high technology company in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Hubbard has received many honors including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. He was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and also was awarded the Von Karman medal by the AIAA. He has published more than 50 research papers. Hubbard received his undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University and his graduate education in solid state and semiconductor physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Hubbard regularly serves on both National Research Council and NASA Advisory committees. He continues his 40-year interest in music by regularly playing guitar in a jazz group.