Many alumni work in the field of space exploration and MIT’s involvement can currently be seen in exciting projects like Mars 2020 and the Osiris-REx mission. Bring your questions on topics including Mars Curiosity and 2020, asteroids, and the future of human and autonomous flight missions.
Meet the alumni:
Burke is an aerospace engineer for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) and performs analysis on the trajectories of the rockets launching NASA’s unmanned spacecraft missions. She works on the interface between the spacecraft and launch vehicle teams; currently she's on the 2016 launch of InSight to Mars.
Allen Chen '00, SM '02 @icancallubetty
Chen is a senior systems engineer in the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Systems and Advanced Technologies group at NASA’S Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He is currently the cruise and EDL phase lead for the Mars 2020 project. He also worked on the Mars Exploration Rovers project, performing EDL reconstruction analysis and testing.
Ferdowsi is a systems engineer with JPL who gained Internet stardom for his haircut and role as activity lead during the Mars Curiosity rover landing. He has been working for JPL since 2003 and currently works on both Curiosity and the Europa Clipper mission.
Oh is a manager and senior systems engineer at JPL. He worked on the Curiosity Mars rover for seven years and led the team responsible for testing and delivery of the spacecraft’s core electronics, communications, and thermal control systems. He was also the mission’s lead flight director from launch in November 2011 to landing nine months later. After landing, Oh and family famously spent a month living on Mars time while he worked with the surface operations team driving the rover.
Springmann is a planetary astronomer working for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission as a graduate researcher at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. She spent two years at Arecibo Observatory observing near-Earth asteroids with the megawatt planetary radar system on the 305-meter William E. Gordon radio telescope. Her research interests involve binary asteroids systems, and feedback between surface properties of asteroids and non-gravitational forces
Warner is an instrument deployment deputy phase lead for the InSight Mission to Mars. Warner joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2007 and worked on the Mars Science Laboratory project in various system engineering roles until 2014, with his last year spent as a Tactical Mission Manager in charge of day-to-day operations of the Curiosity rover. After spending a decade in Cambridge, Warner lives in Southern California with his wife Anjeli--also an MIT grad--and his two children.
This chat co-sponsored by MIT AeroAstro and is part of the Alumni Association's celebration of MIT AeroAstro's centennial.