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Photo of Rob Manning
   Rob Manning
   MSL Chief Engineer
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Burlington Edison HS, Burlington,  WA
BS Engineering and Applied Physics (i.e. electrical engineering) BA Math-Physics, Caltech Whitman

Background Information
I began my career at JPL designing and testing spacecraft electronics for missions like Galileo, Magellan and Cassini in late 1980.

By the early 1990s I had a lot of experience with spacecraft electronics and software. This experience helped me become the Mars Pathfinder chief engineer. Mars Pathfinder and its little Sojpurner rover was done by a a small team who “broke the mold” and returned to the surface of Mars after 20 year gap. Pathfinder was one of the most wonderful experiences any engineer could have. Afterward a stint as Mars Program Chief Engineer, in early 2000, I co-conspired the idea to modify Pathfinder to become the MER Spirit and Opportunity rovers. For the next few years I led the system engineering team for MER, and also led the MERs Entry, Descent and Landing team. After MER I became the Mars Program Chief Engineer while also working for the Mars Phoenix project. Today I am the Chief Engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project (as well as being a “JPL Fellow”).

As a result of my good luck at JPL, I received two NASA medals and I am in the Aviation Week Magazine Space Laureate Hall of Fame in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

I am a graduate of Caltech and Whitman College where I studied math, physics, computer science, and control systems. I also studied computer engineering and control systems at USC. I live in La Canada (near JPL) with my wife Dominique and my teenage daughter, Caline.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

I have been involved in Mars exploration at JPL pretty much continuously since 1993 when I joined the Mars Pathfinder project. I was the first Mars Program Chief Engineer not long after the Mars program office started in 1997. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

Dont let "no" or "cant" stop you. It may very well be that something is so hard or impossible that you have to let go and try something else. But if you believe in what you are doing. dont let others tell you to stop because you just might find out that the path you are on or near WILL work. [more personal reflections ...]