Opportunities for Growth and Investment
- Manned versus unmanned scientific discovery
- Financial considerations and priorities
- Recent advancements and future plans
- What can be done with the two types of missions
- Timelines and feasibility
Matt Wallace, Deputy Project Manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
JPL is the leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, and has 19 spacecraft and 10 major instruments carrying out planetary, Earth science and space-based astronomy missions.
Launched on July 30, Perseverance will reach Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. It was a "perfect launch this morning — right down the middle; couldn’t have aimed us any better,” said Matt Wallace, deputy project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “They really pushed hard to keep us on this limited planetary launch window in 2020.” With its unique and distinct challenges, COVID-19 certainly threatened that timeline. Wallace admitted there have been “very strenuous moments” in the past few months dealing with the pandemic. “It really took the entire agency to step up and help us; and they didn’t hesitate,” he said. “The team out there — thousands of people — have really made this a special mission. As people have eluded to, ‘Perseverance’ has become a pretty good name for this mission.”
Matt grew up in various towns in New Jersey, and the suburbs of Washington D.C. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984 with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and served five years as a line officer in the U.S. submarine force fast attack fleet. Matt left the Navy to go to graduate school at Caltech where he received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1991, prior to coming to JPL.
Hosted by: ACG
December 4, 2020 11pm