April 04, 2013

Bobak Ferdowsi, Curiosity flight director, shares a special message with students on building robots.


Hi. I'm Bobak Ferdowsi, one of the engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Right now, I'm working on one of the most exciting missions, the Mars Science Lab Curiosity Mission. My job is to sent instructions to the rover each day.

But what you guys are doing is so cool! I've been excited about exploring space since I was a kid and one of the best ways to do that is sending robots to places where people can't go.

It took thousands of people working countless hours to make Curiosity happen. It's the size of an SUV, it's got a laser that can zap rocks on Mars, a drill, a six wheel, rocker-bogie suspension, 17 cameras and numerous other tools. So it's one of the coolest missions out there.

So, sometimes we have to go back and re-design and check things, just like you guys do. Because you're building your own robots, you can imagine what we had to go through- things like: the gears, motors, arm, parachute and even the landing system, had to be designed for the first time.

With lots of hard work and countless hours in our shop we were able to make Curiosity happen. And now the rover is driving across Gale Crater on it's way to Mount Sharp. So we all know how much hard work went into getting to where you are today, not so different from getting to Mars.

So good luck and have fun!

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