January 25, 2017 • 7:30 pm PST
Dr. Charles Elachi, who is stepping down as JPL director after 46 years at the laboratory, will give a parting talk over dinner to LAWAC on January 25th, 2017 about the highlights of his career in space exploration. One of the world’s leading authorities on space, he will speak about the Golden Age of Space Exploration that he says is currently underway, and the “exciting plans, opportunities and challenges for the next two decades.” During his 15 years as JPL Director, he presided over 45 space missions, including the widely celebrated landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars in 2012.
Amongst other JPL missions, the Cassini Spacecraft is currently flying through Saturn’s outer rings acquiring unprecedented images and data never before accessed by man. Looking ahead JPL is planning a mission to fly by Jupiter’s moon Europa – which may have a subsurface ocean – while NASA is awaiting a government decision on whether it can start planning for a manned mission to Mars.
Dr. Elachi joined JPL in 1970. From 2001 to 2016 while he was the Director, JPL launched 24 new missions into space, and he oversaw a further 21 flight missions that were already underway. He has been a principal investigator on the Shuttle Imaging Radar series, the Magellan Imaging Radar, the Cassini Titan Radar and a Co-Investigator on the Europa Sounding Radar. He is the author of over 230 publications in the fields of active microwave remote sensing and electromagnetic theory, and he holds several patents in those fields.