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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Curiosity Touching Down, Artist's Concept. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
VIDEO: Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror


SDSU Alums Lead Mars Rover Mission

Six SDSU alumni are part of the Mars Science Laboratory team that will land the Mars Rover "Curiosity" on the planet this weekend.
By Gina Jacobs

At approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Aug. 5, the Mars Rover “Curiosity” will touch down on Mars where it will begin a long-term exploration mission of the red planet.

Among the team members with the Mars Science Laboratory are six SDSU alumni who play a variety of roles in the mission, from mechanical engineer to spacecraft navigator.

The SDSU alumni include:

•   Jordan P. Evans, Engineering Development and Operations Manager
•   Mark Ryne, Spacecraft Navigator
•   Joey Brown, Entry, Descent, and Landing Engineer
•   Brandon Florow, Mechanical Systems Engineer
•   Bonnie Theberge, Group Supervisor for the MSL Testbed Team
•   Dave Herman, MRO Engineer

Evans, who has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from SDSU, was responsible for all flight systems pre-launch and will be in master control when “Curiosity” lands on Mars Sunday night.

Ryne is the spacecraft navigator and has his bachelor’s degree in astronomy. He has been with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 25 years. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

You can watch the Mars landing live on NASA TV online or at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

360, The Magazine for SDSU, will have a feature story on the space exploration by these SDSU alumni in the fall issue out in September.

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory visit:

WATCH: Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror