Adam Steltzner at Dillon Lecture Series

20141104-042wNASA Engineer Adam Steltzner spoke at the Dillon Lecture Series on Tuesday, November 4. He worked on the Mars Curiosity Rover project, helping to design and build the sky crane landing system.

He discussed not doing well in high school, almost flunking out. He planned to be a rock star, but on the way home from a gig he noticed Orion was in a different position than it had been on another night. He was interested enough to go take an astronomy class at the local community college. That class had a physics pre-requisite and that’s where he realized nature could be predicted. He was hooked, and proceeded to get a series of degrees. Steltzner said he’s an example that, “We never really know where our curiosity will lead us.”

Steltzner said exploration is not necessarily practical, but it’s essential. “When we explore we are asking questions about ourselves. We’re searching for the edge of us. What is our potential?” He said Neil Armstrong tapped into that idea with the words he used when he walked on the moon – that he took us along with him.

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