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Photo of Albert Haldemann
   Albert Haldemann
   Mars Exploration Rover Deputy Project Scientist
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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Diplome de Physicien, Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland
Ph.D. Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology

Background Information
I am the Mars Exploration Rover Deputy Project Scientist. My center of gravity is somewhere in the North Atlantic: I was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1966 and moved to Toronto, Canada in 1970, where I grew up and attended high school. I returned to Switzerland in 1984 for college at the Université de Neuchâtel, where I obtained a Diplôme de Physicien in 1991. I managed to raise my center of gravity ever-so-slightly off the planet by serving as a militia pilot of Hawker Hunter ground-attack jets in the Swiss Air Force, thereby extending the duration of my undergraduate degree to 7 years. In 1992 I came to Caltech to pursue a Ph.D. in Planetary Science, which I completed in 1997. Part of my thesis involved the radar characterization of candidate landing sites for Mars Pathfinder.

The rest as they say is history; my Pathfinder graduate work landed me a postdoc position on the Mars Pathfinder Science Team in the Surface Material Properties Science Operations Group one month before Mars Pathfinder landing. In the meantime, the Planetary Radar Group at JPL (331) offered me a position, which I accepted. I continued to work on Pathfinder, counting rocks around the landing site as ground truth for my Mars radar studies. I also took on responsibilities as the DSN scheduling representative for the Goldstone Solar System Radar. I maintained contact with the Mars rover world by working on instrument payload integration and field testing with JPL’s Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) prototype rover.

I have currently relinquished my radar duties to focus on the Mars Exploration Rover mission full time, although everything I do focuses on Mars! My Mars research includes surface physical properties and radar scattering, surface roughness statistics and their relationship to geomorphic processes, and also the global statistics of Martian tectonic history.

My Center of Gravity has shifted to the west after 11 years in Pasadena, where I lives with my wife and two daughters. I have not entirely given up on moving my CG off-planet: I was the treasurer of the Caltech-JPL Flying Club, and was interviewed at JSC during the 2000 astronaut selection cycle.