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Release No.03.14.17-RichardCook
March 14, 2017

NASA JPL Associate Director to Speak at College of the Canyons

Richard Cook, associate director for flight projects and mission success at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will deliver a presentation at College of the Canyons on Monday, March 20. 

Hosted by the Institute for Ethics, Law and Public Policy, Cook’s presentation will focus on projects currently underway at JPL and his experiences as Flight Systems Manager of the Mars Exploration Rover Project. TIME magazine named Cook one of its “Most Influential” people in 2013 for his contributions to Mars exploration. 

“We are very excited to hear Mr. Cook share his experiences and learn more about the exciting things that are happening at JPL,” said Kevin Anthony, director of the institute and chair of the college’s hotel and restaurant management program. “One of the most interesting voyages is the plan to land on Europa, a moon of Jupiter, and see if the water on this planet has life.”

Established in 2016, the Institute for Ethics, Law and Public Policy is a college committee that aims to promote dialogue and awareness in ethics. 

The presentation is scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. in Aliso Hall, Room 102. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions during a Q&A session. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

About the Speaker
Since joining JPL in 1989, Richard Cook has been involved with various projects and missions. His work as Manager and Deputy Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project involved the design, development, launch, and operations of the successful launch of the “Curiosity” rover, which landed on Mars in August 2012. 

Cook was named deputy director for solar system exploration in 2013 and was flight system manager and project manager for the Mars Exploration Rover Project. 

For his work managing the day-to-day operations of the Mars Pathfinder Mission, he was awarded a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. 

Cook earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Colorado and a master of science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

He resides in the Santa Clarita Valley with his family.