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Photo of Michael Hecht
   Michael Hecht
   Investigation Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Newton South High School, Newton,  MA
A.B. (Physics), Princeton University
M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D., Stanford University

Background Information
A physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I have at various times worked on semiconductor surface and interface science, planetary science, MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems), and scientific instrument development. The highlight of my career at JPL was my service as project manager for the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment, a soil analysis payload intended to fly on the cancelled Mars Surveyor Program 2001 Lander. I was involved in the original conception of the Deep Space 2 probes that flew in 1999, and led a technology development team for the New Millennium Program that sponsored them. I have designed, built, and operated numerous laboratory instruments for materials analysis, a field in which I have published extensively. I was also the first recipient of JPL's Lew Allen Award for Excellence.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

I try to be involved in all aspects of Mars exploration, from theoretical studies of water on Mars to management of instrument projects. This is often a frustrating business, replete with cancelled missions, failed proposals, and the occasional catastrophic crash landing. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

[My thoughts on the MECA Project, from NASA's ASK Magazine, March 2002] Keeping the Deal Michael Hecht On the 4th of July, 1997, I lay on a blanket with my family at a fireworks display near our home in Los Angeles, California. [more personal reflections ...]