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March 15, 2004

Linda Singleton
Johnson Space Center
(Phone: 281/244-1403)

Toni Brown
Johnson Space Center
(Phone: 281/244-0050)



Nagin Cox, Deputy Team Chief for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., will be in Houston on Tuesday, March 16, and available for a limited number of media interviews.

Cox was primarily involved in the flight operations planning for the rover missions. She directed Spirit’s and Opportunity’s six-month cruise phase from launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in July 2003, to the rovers’ successful entries into the Martian atmosphere in January. Opportunity’s landing was dubbed “a 300-million mile interplanetary hole-in-one” by one of her mission colleagues. Cox is now involved in surface operations for both rovers.

Cox will be at the NASA exhibit at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo between 10 a.m. and noon to talk with visitors and school children about the Mars Exploration Rover missions and the recent discoveries made by the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

About Nagin Cox: In 1993, she joined NASA as a ground data system engineer. At the same time, she served for two additional years in the Air Force Reserve as a Space Operations Officer. In 1995, she transferred into NASA’s Spacecraft Systems Engineering Section and worked as the Deputy Team Chief of the engineering spacecraft flight team for the Galileo mission to Jupiter until February of 2000. Cox is currently the Deputy Team Chief of the Spacecraft /Rover Engineering Flight Team on the JPL Mars 2003 Exploration Rover Mission.

Formerly, she was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force and attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where she received a master’s degree in Space Operations Systems Engineering in 1990. As a captain, she served as an Orbital Analyst at NORAD/Space Command in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. Cox holds degrees in psychology as well as operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University.

To schedule an interview, call Linda Singleton at 281-244-1403 or Toni Brown at 281-244-0050.


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