Rodney Babcock will speak and show about the components he manufactures for aerospace and spacecraft. (He is working now on the Mars 2020 mission.)

Rodney Babcock, is the president and CEO of a company that machines parts and assemblies for aerospace and military applications. This is the company that made the wheels and other components for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers—Spirit and Opportunity. They have also created several components for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover—Curiosity. Machining was done with three-axis CNC machines, using four-axis positioning for more complex parts.

Since then, according to Rodney Babcock, shop president and CEO, Next Intent has grown to 34 employees and 11,800 sq ft of space at its San Luis Obispo location. Their latest challenge is making components for the 2020 Rover. The vehicle is equipped to assess natural resources and hazards with instrumentation that includes 23 cameras and a caching assembly to collect drilled rock and soil samples, which will be cached on the Martian surface for future retrieval. In addition to the seven different part numbers Next Intent is making for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL; Pasadena, CA), it is making a mounting chassis, plate and panel for Arizona State University, which provides optical instrumentation for the 2020 Rover.

You can read about his work here.

Read more about the Mars 2020 Mission here.

Our meetings are in the Wesley Room, 1515 Fredericks Street, San Luis Obispo.  

6:45 Doors Open and 7:00 Meeting Starts

Click here for a map.

General Information on our Meetings and Public Talks:

Our meetings include time for show-and-tell, telescope setup questions, special introductory content for newcomers, socializing time, and in-depth astronomy content for our more experienced members… in short, something for everyone!

Visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend. You do not need to be a CCAS member to attend meetings. Folks are welcome to bring astronomy equipment, books and photos to share with the group. We like to assist in answering questions or help with equipment operation techniques when needed, BUT FIRST, please contact the CCAS to discuss this, as meetings are sometimes already booked solid with topics, or, there may not be anyone at the meeting who is knowledgeable of the item you need help with.

If you have questions about bringing something to a meeting, or wish to ask specific technical questions, or about meetings in general, just let us know.