When I joined the University of Colorado faculty in 1974, the United States was less than two years removed from landing the last man on the moon. Now as I begin my fourth decade on campus, CU is going to Mars.
The next Mars explorer, CU-Boulder’s MAVEN spacecraft, is being prepped to launch by semester’s end—the latest in a long line of space exploration achievements that continue to set the bar for space research and aerospace engineering around the world.
Forty years ago our neighbors in the solar system were the stuff of fanciful imagination. Now we are studying them. Today, CU-Boulder is the only public university in the United States to design and build instruments that have flown to every planet in the solar system, as well as Pluto.
MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission. At $671 million, the NASA contract is the biggest research contract in CU-Boulder’s history, with $300 million reinvested in the Colorado economy.
Students are involved in all phases of the mission—science, engineering and operations—providing unique practical experiences to prepare them for exciting careers in aerospace science and engineering. More than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students are engaged in life-changing research across all disciplines at any given time on campus.
MAVEN is another example of how CU-Boulder provides a world-class experiential education while expanding the body of knowledge of the universe and investing in the local and national economies.
Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder