Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Cornell's Steve Squyres, for a discussion of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Reflecting on the intellectual journey that led to his role in the Mars mission, Squires
reminisces about his early years, his education and his career in geology and astronomy. Discussing the role of leadership in a complex scientific project, he compares the characteristics, skill set, and work of
scientists and engineers, and he describes the dynamic process that led to the project’s success in exploring Mars. Analyzing the distinctive features of Mars, the design of the rovers, and the dynamic interaction
between the human teams on earth and the mechanical rovers on Mars, he explains the importance of the mission and what was learned. He concludes with a discussion of the future of planetary exploration and its
importance for maintaining American global scientific leadership.