Sunday, December 4, 2016

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SDSU alumnus Jordan Evans SDSU alumnus Jordan Evans

A Personal Curiosity

SDSU alumnus recounts Mars rover mission at TED conference.

Jordan Evans, ’93, made news in October as one of the most popular speakers at the TEDxMidAtlantic Conference, “Be Fearless.”  Evans was deputy flight systems manager for the Curiosity mission, one of two engineers responsible for every piece of equipment the rover carried into space.

Not afraid to fail

His presentation, “How We Landed a Car on Mars,” was described by conference organizers as a story of “people who weren't afraid to fail, who overcame the odds, and persisted when the outlook was bleak.”

Jordan and seven other SDSU alumni from the colleges of Engineering and Sciences helped develop and launch Curiosity. Many of them are still involved in the rover’s mission to determine whether the red planet is, or ever has been, habitable to microbial life on Mars.

TIME Person of the Year

Curiosity itself is a candidate for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year 2012.

The rover is competing against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, comedy show host Jon Stewart, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Higgs Boson (a particle that causes energy to make the jump into matter), the Undocumented Immigrant and dozens of other nominees.