Mars 2020 Mobility Systems Engineer

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA


Mr. Rieber is the Mobility Systems Engineer for Mars 2020, the next rover NASA is sending to explore Mars.  Rich oversees anything and everything that affects how the rover drives, including the tires, autonomous navigation algorithms, and the drive-planning software used by the operators.  He has been at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 11 years, and has had major roles as an Activity Lead for the EPOXI mission and as flight director for SMAP, deploying its 6-meter antenna.  Rich holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Astrophysics and an MS in bioastronautics all from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Space Management from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.


Talk Title: Designing for a Martian Road Trip

The Holy Grail of planetary geology is to analyze geologic samples from another planet in labs on Earth.  The Mars 2020 rover is the first step in returning geologic samples from Mars.  It will collect interesting material from across the landing site and leave them in one place, or depot, for another mission to bring back.   To collect and deposit samples, Mars 2020 must drive further and faster than any other rover sent to Mars.  We will discuss the technology required to make this happen, including new tires and autonomous driving.





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