Romanian-American Scientists Reaching for the Moon Base Camp
NURTURING RESILIENCE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
THIRD CONFERENCE OF ROMANIAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONALS
Opening Plenary Session: June 4th 2021
The host invited as surprise guest speaker Mr. Adrian Stoica, PhD, Principal Senior Research Scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at California Institute of Technology. IRF is honored to have Mr. Stoica serve on its Board of Directors and as adviser on the STEM Council. Mr. Adrian Stoica’s remarks continued Mr. Andrei Iancu’s thoughts about convergence of innovative research fields, about humanity being on the cusp of technology revolutions, innovative leaps leading to rapid multifaceted transformations. Mr. Stoica picked up the issue of technology convergence with regards to teleoperations and spoke of his experience for the last two and a half decades at NASA working on telerobotic operations, robot autonomy and learning, including the operation of robots on Mars. The applicability of such technology changing human behavior, including the critical adaptation and acceptance of the necessity of this technology in times of social distancing brought the intervention down to issues of professional and personal daily life balance with technology improving the efficiency of the ways we operate. Prompted by the host, Mr. Stoica spoke of the new international race in space, saying “China is pushing us up back to the moon and competition is good in this respect.” He spoke of NASA’s Artemis Base Camp program through which the US is giving close international partners the opportunity to collaborate within the lunar mission envisioned as a gateway for future human exploration of space. Mr. Stoica spoke of his project developing feasibility plans for solar power infrastructure on the south pole of the moon, a critical factor in enabling a lunar economy.