I had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Ashwin Vasavada as part of the Riding with Robots podcast back in 2007. He’s deputy project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
He gave a clear explanation of the mission’s goals, which haven’t changed since, but also offered a fascinating inside perspective on what it was like to build the rover and select the landing site—processes that were still ongoing at the time. We also talked about his experience with the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander, space exploration in general, and the dream mission he’d like to design.
(The image-enhanced podcast requires QuickTime to view.)