Interview With Smithsonian's Ellen Stofan


Hi and welcome to the aviation week. Check six podcast. I'm jen damasio the executive editor for defense and space. And i'm here with aviation weeks. Space editor irene. Clots and a very special guest ellen. Sto fan the under secretary for science and research at the smithsonian institution. Ellen comes here after leading the air and space museum and previously from nasa where. She helped plan to get humans to mars. But we're here today. Because of a really thrilling development. This morning nasa flew ingenuity. An aircraft for the first time on another planet in mars is very thin atmosphere. So i'm going to turn this over to irene. Who ensure has a lot of questions for ellen about this historic achievement. Thanks jen and welcome allan. This was all a very long time coming and I know that it's a significant step. For future. exploration of mars been likened to the ninety seven landing of the pathfinder mission with the prototype rover sojourner and we see what that led to colluding ingenuity is ride to mars ellen. Can you talk a little bit about as planetary scientists. what aerial abilities bring to the exploration table. Yeah well i. I will say on this day where. I'm still frankly just overcome by the immense this morning. It's i put this in an even broader context as having had responsibility for a while of caring for the nineteen. Three right flyer is. This is the first powered flight on another planet. Just let that blow your mind for a minute because this is huge historically and so it's really exciting so if we go to that fundamental level. Oh my gosh what we did on mars. It's incredibly exciting. But this idea of having multiple modes of mobility rovers or great especially when you want to go from rock to rock and analyze the composition. And we're looking for past life on mars. We really need that rover capability but you also want the ability to go longer distances more rapidly and you can only do that by air but mars is such a challenge because of that thin atmosphere but you know the ingenuity team. They show perseverance and ingenuity and they did it.

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