Alice Agogino and Kimberly Lau at Mars Rover Launch with Photos
Professor Alice Agogino was invited by JPL's Director Charles Elachi as a VIP visitor to the Mars Science Laboratory Rover named "Curiosity" at the Kennedy Space Center. She brought her husband, daughter and doctoral student Kimberly Lau with her. She visited the launch site and the mission hanger for the Mars Rover Curiosity at the Kennedy Space Center on November 25. They inspected the launch pad for the Mars Rover Curiosity as well and the Hanger and local Command center for the launch. During the pre-launch tour they were also shown the Vehicle Assembly Building where the Space Shuttle Endeavor was being decommissioned. Agogino & Lau attended the scheduled launch for the successful Mars Rover on Saturday, November 26, 2011. Several dignataries gave briefings before the launch, including NASA chief Charles Bolden (left image below). "We are very excited about sending the world's most advanced scientific laboratory to Mars," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "MSL will tell us critical things we need to know about Mars, and while it advances science, we'll be working on the capabilities for a human mission to the Red Planet and to other destinations where we've never been." Kimberly was delighted to meet Dean Kammen, inventor and founder of the FIRST robotics competition, and Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer of Disney before the launch. Kimberly is taking a leave for a year working at Disney World in Orlando as a "cast" engineer.
The images below show our viewing of the actual launch, starting at 10:02 am EST on Saturday, November 26, 2011.