An Interview with Laurent Jorda

Meet Dawn Participating Scientist Laurent Jorda
The following interview is a written interview conducted by the Outreach team at Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
Dawn participating scientist Laurent Jorda

What do you think is the most compelling aspect of the Dawn mission?

Understand how big main belt asteroids formed and evolved.

How are you participating in Dawn science as it relates to the Dawn mission?

Contribute to the calculation of topographic maps.

What are some of the challenges that accompany your job with the Dawn mission?

Get high-resolution topographic maps of the surface of Vesta.

What do you enjoy most about your work with the Dawn mission?

Collaborate with other experts in this field.

Describe your thoughts and feelings as the Dawn spacecraft is approaching at Vesta?

I'm excited to look at the first resolved images of Vesta which will be taken by Dawn.

What are the most critical aspects of your job in the next several months in preparation for Vesta arrival?

Complement and test my software program to have it ready when the first images of Vesta will arrive.

What are your leisure time activities?

Visiting old historical monuments in Provence and Southern France.

Do you have a yet-to-be-achieved life goal?

Not really.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Architect or astronomer.

At what point did you determine that you would pursue a career in space science? Tell about the path that led you to this field.

I had a telescope when I was a teenager. I used to look at the planets with it during my free time, especially in the summer. I also read many astronomical books and reviews.

What subjects were you interested in as a young student?

Particle physics and astrophysics.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?

A series of books by Robert Merle, A French writer who died this year (per 2 Internet sites, he died in 2004) called “Fortune de France.” This is a historical saga of a noble family during the middle ages.

What advice would you give to aspiring engineers or scientists?

Be completely committed to your work.

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