Rocket ship programmer
Software for Landing Perseverance on Mars
6:45PM - 8:45PM in
via Zoom virtual meeting.
On Feb. 18, 2021 NASA landed a rover in the Martian crater, Jezero. The fully‐automated feat could not have had humans in control, because of the vast distance from Earth. Come hear about some of the many computers and software packages that made it possible, and a bit about the mission so dramatically initiated: https://mars.nasa.gov/
DJ is a software geek privileged to write flight software atNASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, run by Caltech. He wrote the software on the landing radar used to get NASA’s “Curiosity” and “Perseverance” rovers down to the surface of Mars. For Mars 2020 project he also was the Software Lead for “Second Chance”, a contingency program in case of failure on the primary computer (not needed – whew!).
As a bonus, Mars 2020 also let him work on the MOXIE interface software (think oxygen generator from the movie/book The Martian).
In the past, DJ has also written ground system software for Voyager, Galileo, Magellan, Cassini, and other missions. He’s been a System Administrator for several projects on mixes of Linux, Solaris, SunOS, IRIX, HP-UX, and other UNIX-based operating systems.
He is a skier and dog-lover. He once taught a community college class on computer networks; his conclusion? “Teaching is hard!”