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Key Mars Pathfinder Team Members

Brian Muirhead
Richard Cook
Jennifer Harris
Robert Manning

Brian Muirhead
Pathfinder Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
brian-bw_th.jpg Brian Muirhead has worked on various spacecraft and technology projects since coming to JPL in 1978. His first job was building flight hardware on the Galileo spacecraft now in orbit around Jupiter. He managed the Advanced Spacecraft Development Group and the Mechanical Systems Integration Section. He has led three of JPL's recent "faster, better, cheaper" developments: the SIR-C Antenna Mechanical System (which flew on STS 59 and 68), the MSTI I Mechanical Subsystems, launched in 1992 and most recently the Mars Pathfinder flight system which landed successfully on Mars on July 4, 1997. On Mars Pathfinder he was responsible for the design, development, test and launch of the flight system. He is currently the Project Manager for Mars Pathfinder. In addition, he manages the Deep Space 4/Champollion Project designing a mission to land on, analyze in situ and return to Earth a sample from a comet. He has a BSME from the University of New Mexico and an MSAE from Caltech.

Richard Cook
Pathfinder Flight Operations Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Richard Cook - I am the flight operations manager responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the spacecraft after launch. My background is in aerospace engineering, specifically the design, development and operation of space missions. I started on Mars Pathfinder five years ago, and my first job was to identify the interplanetary trajectory we will use to get to Mars.

My Career Journey

I have always been interested in math, science and space exploration, but I really didn't decide to be an aerospace engineer
until I got to college. I got a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado in Boulder. CU has a good aerospace
engineering department, so I ended up taking some classes in orbital mechanics and space mission design. It was so interesting
that I decided to get my MS in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. After graduating from UT in 1989,
I came to JPL and have been here ever since.

Jennifer Harris
Pathfinder Flight Director
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jennifer A. Harris was born in Fostoria, Ohio on August 1, 1968.

In 1986 graduated from Elmwood High School in Jerry City, Ohio.

From 1986 - 1990, did undergraduate work in Aerospace Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in music.

From 1989 - 1990, worked in M.I.T.’s Space Systems Laboratory researching force-reflecting hand controllers for space vehicle use.

From 1990 - 1993, worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a power subsystem engineer on advanced project design. Also worked on the development of Cassini spacecraft Ground Software requirements.

From 1993 - 1994, worked as a teacher in Sevastopol, Ukraine teaching English and Bible to High School and Business School students.

From 1994 -present, working on Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California.

From 1994 - present, returned to JPL and led Mars Pathfinder Attitude and Information Management Subsystem (AIM) operations development. She also led the Mars Pathfinder Surface Operations Test program and was Flight Director for Pathfinder’s first day on Mars. She currently is continuing work as Flight Director for Mars Pathfinder Operations.

Robert Manning
Pathfinder Flight System Chief Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Robert M. Manning - Since June of 1993, Rob Manning has been the Flight System Chief Engineer for the successful Mars Pathfinder mission at JPL where he was responsible for all technical aspects of the Pathfinder spacecraft. In additional he led the team that did the design, development, test and operation of Pathfinder's interesting entry, descent and landing system.

Rob received his education in Mathematics, Physics, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Whitman Collage in Washington State and at Caltech in Pasadena. Since 1981, Rob has specialized in fault tolerant computer systems at JPL. He has also had key roles in the development if many interplanetary spacecraft missions at JPL, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Magellan mission to Venus, and the recently launched Cassini mission to Saturn where he was chief engineer for Cassini's on-board computers. He makes his home in Pasadena with his wife Dominique and their young daughter, Caline.


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