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Photo of Theresa Kowalkowski
   Theresa Kowalkowski
   Mars Exploration Rover Mission Planner
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Woodbridge Senior High School, Woodbridge,  VA
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University
Master of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University

Background Information
I grew up as an Air Force brat, moving all over the country and living in Spain for 3 years when I was very young. I spent my high school years in Woodbridge, VA (a suburb of Washington, DC). As an undergraduate at Purdue University, I joined the Cooperative Education (co-op) program. I spent the next 3 years going back and forth every other semester between school and the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. I had the pleasure of working on a variety of projects including Space Shuttle trajectory operations, Space Station mechanisms and maintenance operations, Mars mission design and architecture (for both human and robotic missions), and X-38 (Crew Return Vehicle) development.

After receiving my bachelor's degree, I began graduate school. My research specialty was in interplanetary trajectory design, with an emphasis on low-thrust trajectories.

I spent my college years (including grad school) heavily involved in the Purdue Bands Dept. playing both flute and piccolo. I did everything from the All-American Marching Band, both the men's and women's basketball team bands, concert bands, and orchestra.

When I finished my master's degree, I came to work at JPL. I got married (to a wonderful man named Matt) and now have 2 cats!

Contributions to Mars Exploration

content image for contributions section I am a member of the Mission Planning Team for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission, specializing in the surface operations phase. My work involves coordinating with the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey teams since both of those spacecraft will be relaying back to Earth much of the data MER collects. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

Space is cool, very cool. If it's what you want to do, then go for it! You don't have to give up other things in your life, though. Play sports, make music, dance, read up on history, whatever you like to do. [more personal reflections ...]