NASA Administrator Bolden visits Space Sciences Lab

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On Thursday May 8th the U.C. Berkeley Space Sciences Lab was honored to have NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and his Deputy Chief of Staff Mike French (Cal Alumni) stop by for an informational visit and tour of our facilities
Dr. Stuart Bale presented the history of our lab and the high success rate of the 75 missions that we have flown scientific instruments on, including Space Shuttle missions, Explorer Satellites, Sounding Rockets and High Altitude Balloons.
Two upcoming missions and one current mission were discussed with Administrator Bolden and his team. MAVEN’s current transition from Earth to Mars was championed by Dr. Dave Mitchell, discussing data already being collected by the suite of instruments developed by the lab and upcoming science once we arrive at Mars. ICON’s science objectives were highlighted by Dr. Thomas Immel and Dr. Bale discussed the upcoming Solar Probe mission and the challenges that are faced in its design and observations that will take place as it orbits the sun. Laura Peticolas also discussed the Educational Outreach that our lab participates in to spread the word and get students interested in science.
Administrator Bolden then toured various parts of our lab including the great view overlooking the Bay and Golden Gate, Deployable Booms with Paul Turin, Wire Booms and sphere Preamps with Dr. Bonnell, the GRIPS and COSI Balloon program with Ben Maruca, and Carolyn Kierans, the SSL MOC or Mission Operations Center with Bryce Roberts, Mark Lewis and Dan Cosgrove, and finally the Stardust lab with Anna Butterworth and Andrew Wesphal.

Administrator Charles Bolden
Administrator Charles Bolden

Paul Turin demonstrating Deployable Antennas and Whips
Paul Turin demonstrating Deployable Antennas and Whips

Dr. Bonnell explaining Wire Boom Sphere Preamps
Dr. Bonnell explaining Wire Boom Sphere Preamps

Ben Maruca explaining the GRIPS and COSI Balloon Gondola

Carolyn Kierans and the Balloon electronics

Bryce Roberts and Mark Lewis showing the MOC capabilities

Administrator Bolden examining Stardust Aerogel under the scope

Administrator Bolden, his team and our Lab envoys