Andrew Mishkin is a senior systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been involved in the development of various robotic vehicles and their subsystems for more than fifteen years. He was a key member of the team that designed, developed and finally operated the Sojourner rover that captured the imagination of the public during the Mars Pathfinder mission in the summer of 1997. He has recently written a book entitled Sojourner: An Insider's View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission. In 1997 he received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his contributions to the success of the Sojourner Mars rover. He was also selected as one of The 35 People Who Made the Year in the December 1997 edition of Vanity Fair. Mr. Mishkin is now a part of the MER Exploration Rover project that has just landed a new rover on Mars, and will be landing a second rover in about three weeks.
Author and astronomer David Darling touched on a wide range of scientific topics, from life in the universe, to the human spiritual quest. "We're directly connected with the cosmos," in that we are literally made from stardust, he noted.