This image released August 27, 2003 captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows a close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 34,648,840 miles (55,760,220 km) away.
KPCC reporters have been talking to Southland scientists and engineers and counting down the days until NASA's biggest and most complex rover yet — Curiosity — lands on the Martian surface. Follow the series online.
Join KPCC reporter Sanden Totten and G. Scott Hubbard, a veteran of the NASA Mars program, for a lively chat about all things Mars!
It all starts right here at 12 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3. We'll talk about Curiosity's tricky descent into the Red Planet's atmosphere, the impact of Mars on pop culture, what it's like to work for NASA, and much more!
You can leave a question for our experts in the comments below right now if you don't want to wait. We'll collect the questions and make sure they get answered on Friday. See you then!
G. Scott Hubbard has been recognized as an innovator and leader in science, technology and management for more than 35 years — including 20 years with NASA. He currently is a Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University where he focuses on planetary exploration, especially Mars, and also serves as the Director of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. From 2002 to 2006 Hubbard was the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. In 2003, he served full-time as the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), where he directed impact testing that demonstrated the definitive physical cause of the loss of the Columbia. In 2000, Hubbard served as NASA’s first Mars program director and successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures. His book entitled, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery,” describes his work on NASA’s Mars Program.