findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
Entry, Descent and Landing Operations Manager Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Likes/Dislikes About Career
My friend Richard Cook says the best things about his job are the technical challenges of building a spacecraft and sending it to Mars and the great team of people we have working on Mars Pathfinder. I couldn't agree more. Something like Pathfinder cannot be achieved without teamwork and we have been lucky to have many tireless and selfless people making this work. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will forever be etched into my memories. It will be the fine people that I will remember. The other best part of my job is the learning. For someone as curious about how things work as I am, this is a dream job. I get to learn about Mars geology, mechanical engineering, how parachutes and airbags really work, and much, much more. My job is never boring. The one part of my job that I like the least is the time it takes from my wife and my personal life. The other part is always feeling like I need to do more at work. It is a frustrating combination.
I live in Pasadena, Calif. with my wonderful wife, Dominique, and our two goofy pooches, Scooter and Izzy. We spend our free time working on our house, laughing with friends and trying to find time for each other. When we find the time, we both love to ski. I also manage to find some free time to play jazz (bebop) trumpet with local jazz groups. (Since Pathfinder, Rob's and Dominique's life has also changed, as has Richard Cook's and his wife's, by having kids. Since the Mars Exploration Rovers mission is perhaps even more complex than Pathfinder, life still requires a juggling and balancing act!)