Richard Cook
Flight Operations Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Likes/Dislikes About Job

The best things about my job are the technical challenge of building a spacecraft and sending it to Mars and the great team of people we have working on Mars Pathfinder. It has been an amazing experience to see an interplanetary spacecraft built from what started as a set of viewgraphs. The people who work on Pathfinder are some of the best at JPL. We have created a real team atmosphere, partially because we are doing something new, innovative and difficult. The part of my job I like the least is going to all the meetings that this job seems to require. We don't always get very much done at these meetings, but they are a necessary evil.

Personal Information

I live in San Gabriel, Calif. with my wife and brand new baby girl (age three months). She is our first child, but we also have two cats. We spend our free time working around the house and yard, cooking and playing with our baby. We like going out to dinner, watching movies and reading books. My wife and I grew up near Denver, so we also like to ski (but don't get many chances in Southern Calif.). When I was a kid, I thought I would be a geologist when I grew up. That's kind of funny now, because I work with a lot of geologists. One day I hope I can work on a sample return mission that will bring back a rock for those geologist to look at.

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