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Mars Rover News Briefing

Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program, NASA Headquarters in Washington

John L. Callas, project manager, Mars Exploration Rovers, JPL

Ashley Stroupe, rover driver, Mars Exploration Rovers, JPL

Dr. Steven W. Squyres, principal investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers, Cornell University

Date: Tuesday January. 26, 2010 Time: 10 am Pacific Time (1 p.m. EST)


John L. Callas , project manager, Mars Exploration Rovers, JPL John L. Callas Image credit: NASA/JPL
John L. Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has been project manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project since March 2006. Previously, as science manager and then deputy project manager, he had helped lead the rover project since 2000. Callas grew up near Boston, Mass. He received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Tufts University, Medford, Mass., in 1981 and his Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1983 and 1987, respectively. He joined JPL to work on advanced spacecraft propulsion, which included such futuristic concepts as electric, nuclear and antimatter propulsion. In 1989 he began work supporting the exploration of Mars with the Mars Observer mission and has since worked on seven Mars missions. In addition to his Mars work, Callas is involved in the development of instrumentation for astrophysics and planetary science, and teaches mathematics at Pasadena City College as an adjunct faculty member.


Ashley Stroupe Ashley Stroupe Image credit: NASA/JPL
Ashley Stroupe has been a staff engineer at JPL since December 2003. She works in flight operations for the Mars Exploration Rovers, building sequences for rover driving and operating the robotic arm as well as doing long-term planning for rover traverse. She is also working on the development of the flight mission Mars Science Laboratory, evaluating terrain near potential landing sites. Her research focuses on multi-robot teams in complex environments and behavior-based control, with applications to exploration and mapping, dynamic target observation, and cooperative manipulation. In addition to the research listed here, Stroupe participates broadly in community activities such as outreach and education and has published multiple conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles in robotics. She recently appeared on "Five Years on Mars" on the National Geographic Channel. Stroupe received a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pa., in 2003.

Steve Squyres, principal investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers, Cornell University Dr. Steven W. Squyres NASA/JPL
Dr. Steven W. Squyres is a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and the principal investigator for the science payload on NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers. Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging data from the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. He was a radar investigator on the Magellan mission to Venus, a member of the Mars Observer gamma-ray spectrometer flight investigation team, and a co-investigator on the Russian Mars `96 mission. He is a member of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission to Saturn and was a member of the gamma-ray X-ray spectrometer team on NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1981.

Media contacts:
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington