June 7, 2004
Hubbard touts campus collaboration with NASA
By Ann Gibb
UCSC and NASA have collaborated to create "a new model of research
and development" for technology innovation, according to G. Scott
Hubbard, director of the NASA Ames Research Center and the featured
speaker at the third annual UCSC Foundation Forum on June 3.
G. Scott Hubbard
Crediting the "groundbreaking efforts" of M.R.C. Greenwood,
who as UCSC chancellor helped form the first-ever University Affiliated
Research Center (UARC) in partnership with NASA Ames, Hubbard said,
"The focused, strategic research tasks that are emerging through
UARC will create the milestones of innovation," with implications
for advancing space exploration and improving life on Earth. Greenwood,
now university provost/senior vice president for the UC system, was
among those at the forum.
"It's humans and robots together who will discover and do science,"
said Hubbard as he described recent successful missions to Mars in which
robots have gathered and transmitted data. He shared a dramatic computer-animated
simulation of the Mars Rover landing, including the "six
minutes of terror," when the Rover slows from approximately
1,200 mph to zero at landing.
Hubbard was instrumental in establishing the new NASA Ames Mars Center,
which is free and open to the public, and includes the world's largest
"immersing wall," providing visitors with a fly-through experience
of the Mars landscape.
Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Miller moderated a faculty panel
discussion following Hubbard's talk. David Deamer, professor and acting
chair of biomolecular engineering, spoke on the use of DNA research
in exploring the possible shared origins of life on Earth and Mars;
Gabriel Elkaim, assistant professor of computer engineering, described
his research in robotics; and Ali Shakouri, associate professor of electrical
engineering, presented the possibilities for engineering at the nano
scale for more efficient use of heat and electricity.
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