EVA and Crew Systems Manager Mark Jarosz
Mark Jarosz

Mark Jarosz is the extravehicular activity and crew systems manager within the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Image Credit: NASA

Note: Some quotes in this story have been changed for readability.

Describe your role with the Mission to Hubble.

I'm currently the extravehicular activity (also known as EVA) and crew systems manager within the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) Servicing Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. It's my job to coordinate with NASA's Johnson Space Center on the training of the astronaut crew that will perform the spacewalks required to repair the telescope during the Mission to Hubble. This requires planning of hardware, procedures, simulators and tools used for training the crew to do the repairs as efficiently as possible.

Training takes place here at Goddard, where the EVA team demonstrates flight hardware and tools to the astronauts, as well as at Johnson's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, which features a large water tank that simulates the (microgravity) environment of space.

What should people know about Hubble?

Hubble is a success because of several factors, two of which are particularly important in my mind. First, Hubble stirs the public's imagination and our natural desire to understand our universe. The second is the people. Hubble is a success because of a lot of people working toward a common goal. NASA cannot achieve its successes without teamwork and dedication of a very diverse workforce.

What was your involvement with Hubble before 2009's Mission to Hubble?

My involvement on Hubble goes back to Servicing Mission 3, which was split into Mission 3A in 1999 and 3B in 2002. It was split because Hubble's gyroscopes were failing sooner than planned and an emergency mission was added to go and repair them. I worked both missions as the Carriers Development Office manager. The carriers are the units that go on the space shuttle and carry all the new tools and instruments into orbit, as well as the old hardware back to Earth. They're also used to dock the telescope to the shuttle.

What did you do before Hubble?

Here at Goddard, I've also worked on the X-Ray Timing Explorer and STEREO missions. I've worked for NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., on electrical ground systems, and supported the Flight Telerobotic Servicer program as a resident manager at Lockheed Martin's facility in Denver, Colo.

How did you become interested in science? How did that interest grow into a career?

I always enjoyed science and math in school. That was probably a driver more than anything, as nobody in my family is in engineering or science. I guess I just enjoyed taking things apart to see how they worked. Engineering sounded like a good fit.

What advice would you give to students who are thinking about a career in science?

The main advice is the same I give to my kids. Do something you have a passion for and enjoy, because it will be something you do for a large part of your life. Don't worry about specific jobs because opportunities will come along that will alter your decisions regularly. What you want to do today will not likely be the exact same thing you do tomorrow.

Science jobs are fun and challenging. (They) put you in touch with new technologies and experiences that are always exciting.

Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies