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Photo of Kirk Breitenbach
   Kirk Breitenbach
   Spacecraft Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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BS Physics, University California, Berkeley

Background Information
I started my career in space sciences as a mechanical engineer for NASAs EUVE project while completing my undergraduate studies. I continued on the EUVE project post graduation. I have always been interested in building things and my life long interest is in scientific understanding of the world around us. Working as an engineer developing vehicles for scientific exploration is a perfect fit for these two passions. I came to work at JPL in 1990 and led the science instrument integration efforts for the Cassini mission to Saturn. After the launch of Cassini I started work on the Genesis mission in project system engineering and worked on this mission to return solar wind samples to Earth. I worked on Genesis through launch in 2001. I was a member of the spacecraft development team on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from 2001 through August 2005. Following the launch of MRO, I went to work for three years on the spacecraft design for the Mars Science Laboratory with its Rover Curiosity. Im currently working on an Earth science mission to improve climate modeling accuracy and weather prediction by measuring Earths soil moisture from space.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) project is the first Mars mission I have had the privilege to work on. I began working on MRO in 2001 as a member of the spacecraft development team. As a systems engineer for MRO I have the opportunity to participate in the development of the spacecraft system with a focus on ensuring that the spacecraft is developed to achieve the specific performance requirements that are driven by the scientific objectives of the mission. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

Focus your efforts on the things for which you have a real passion and then dedicate yourself to those things. I think this advise can be worthwhile both professionally and personally. [more personal reflections ...]