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Roger Hunter is the project manager for NASA's Kepler Mission, the first mission capable of finding potentially habitable planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, outside our solar system.
Prior to joining NASA, Roger was with the Boeing Company as Site Manager in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In that position, he directed the efforts of over 250 Boeing engineers and technicians in sustaining the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation and the Air Force's GPS command and control system.
Before joining Boeing, Roger served in the US Air Force, and retired after 22 years of service. Colonel Hunter's assignments included Commander, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Deputy Operations Group Commander for the 50th Space Wing, and Program Manager for the XSS-10 microsatellite technology demonstration for Air Force Research Laboratory. He also had assignments with HQ US Air Force Space Command, and HQ US Air Force at the Pentagon.
He holds a bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Georgia; a master of science in space operations and physics from the US Air Force Institute of Technology; and a master of airpower art and science from the US Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Air War College, and US Air Force Air Command and Staff College.
Why did I join Kepler? It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of an historical mission. I was working for the Boeing Corporation, managing a contract with the US Air Force. The contract provided significant support for Global Positioning System operations and sustainment. I led about 250 engineers, technicians and software programmers in maintaining, sustaining, and improving GPS operations for the GPS satellite constellation and its command and control system. NASA Ames called me - out of the blue - and asked if I'd like to work on the Kepler Mission. Once I understood what the mission's goals were, I couldn't say no. How many times in one's life do you get a chance to work on something that can make history, and sets a milestone in human culture that will be long remembered? The questions of "Is there another earth? Are there other habitable worlds?" have long been unanswered. Finally, we have the means, the capabilities, and the will to push for those answers. To stand on the precipice of discovery - NO one can say no to that.