Photo by National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The GRAIL gravity mapping mission to the moon, 2011.
B. Gentry Lee
A key player in space exploration will speak in North Platte on Tuesday, May 9 as part of the Town Hall Lecture Series.B. Gentry Lee is the chief engineer for the Solar System Exploration Directorate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
He is responsible for the engineering integrity of all robotic planetary missions managed by JPL for NASA.
Lee’s recent work includes the engineering oversight of the Curiosity rover mission to Mars in August 2012, as well as the Dawn mission to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, the Juno mission to Jupiter and the GRAIL missions to the moon.
Previously, Lee provided guidance and oversight for the engineering aspects of the Phoenix and twin rover missions to Mars, as well as NASA’s successful Deep Impact and Stardust missions.
Lee was the chief engineer for the Galileo project from 1977-88 and served as the director of science analysis and mission planning during the Viking operations.
The historic Viking mission was the first successful landing on another planet.
The Galileo mission explored Jupiter with both an atmospheric probe and an orbiter that mapped the major Jovian satellites during a decade of operations.
In addition to his engineering work, Lee has been an active novelist, television producer, computer game designer, media columnist, lecturer, television performer and narrator.
Lee received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1976 and the Distinguished Service Medal (NASA’s highest award) in 2005.
In October 2006, he was presented with the prestigious Harold Masursky Award from the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences for his career contributions to planetary exploration.
His presentation in North Platte is called, “Vision of the 21st Century.” It will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the North Platte Community Playhouse, downtown at Fifth and Bailey.
Admission is available through a lecture series membership, which can be purchased at the door, by calling Betty Guynan at (308) 530-8448 or by visiting http://www.nptownhall.com.
The presentation will be followed by a luncheon, featuring a question and answer session with Lee, at the Quality Inn and Suites.
All luncheon attendees must be season ticket holders. The cost of the meal is $15.50. Reservations must be received by May 2.