Meeting Adam Steltzner

Last Tuesday I had the incredible opportunity to meet one of NASA’s most brilliant and unique engineers, Adam Steltzner. For 10 years he led a team of inventors who designed and tested the remarkable “sky crane” used to land the Curiosity rover on Mars!  

Just being in Mr. Steltzner’s presence was jaw-dropping enough, but what he said was even more incredible. Adam told us to “hold on to the doubt,” something he learned after his multiple attempts to find a way to land Curiosity. After he explained a bit more what he meant, I realized he was telling us to embrace the doubt and fear of failure. That one phrase, I realized, was the key I needed to unlock the door of all my fears and doubts and just embrace them. Mr. Steltzner showed me that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or who you were, it only matters where you will go and who you will be.

Mr. Steltzner shared these photos from Curiosity’s mission.

Since I am an ambassador for Back to Space, an amazing organization trying to fill the gap between pop culture and STEM, meeting Mr. Steltzner was a mind-blowing opportunity that I’ll never forget. I may not know everyone’s thoughts on Mr. Steltzner’s lecture, but I feel deep down inside that everyone in that room was inspired to be curious because, well, curiosity is in our genes, right?

Post by Gavin Syas

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