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Meet Just a Few Members of Our Team
March 8, 2011
 

Mission Team | Launch Team

Jim EricksonJim Erickson, Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Education
B.S., Applied Physics, Harvey Mudd College
M.B.A., West Coast University

Background Information
Jim Erickson was project manager for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity before switching to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project. He was previously project manager for NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter. During more than 30 years at JPL, he has also worked on the Viking missions to Mars, the Voyager missions to outer planets, and the Mars Observer mission.


Dr. Rich ZurekDr. Richard Zurek, Project Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Education
B.S., Mathematics, Michigan State University
Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington (Seattle)

Background Information
Dr. Richard Zurek graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Mathematics in 1969 and received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1974. Following one-year post-doctoral appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, he went to work at JPL, where he has been employed since 1976. Dr. Zurek is currently the Project Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


Ben JaiBenhan Jai, Mission Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Education
M.S., Computer Engineering, University of Southern California

Background Information
Ben Jai received an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1985. Since joining JPL in 1985, he has participated in the development of Ground Data Systems and Mission Operations Systems in many missions including Mars Global Surveyor, Stardust and Mars Odyssey missions. Currently, he is the Mission Operations System Manager of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project.


Ben JaiM.D. (Dan) Johnston, Deputy Mission Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Education
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas
M.S.E., University of Texas

Background Information
Dan Johnston received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in 1984 and an MSE from the University of Texas in 1989. Since joining JPL in 1989, he has participated in the development and flight operations phases of the Mars Observer and Mars Global Surveyor missions. He is a recipient of NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal for the aerobraking operations planning of Mars Global Surveyor. Prior to joining JPL, he was employed with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics in Houston, TX in support of STS (Shuttle) rendezvous flight planning. Currently, he is the Mission Design Manager of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project.

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator