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January 22
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
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| Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019
richard cook - Santa Clarita Elementary kindergarteners, from left, Violet Abadi, Liberty French and Lizelle Gonzalez react as "Sammy," the NASA Mars rover model, crawls over their backs during a science assembly presented by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the school in Saugus in 2014. Hundreds of local residents work at the NASA-JPL facility, which also relies on parts machined in the Santa Clarita Valley, also. | Photo: Dan Watson / The Signal.
Santa Clarita Elementary kindergarteners, from left, Violet Abadi, Liberty French and Lizelle Gonzalez react as "Sammy," the NASA Mars rover model, crawls over their backs during a science assembly presented by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the school in Saugus in 2014. Hundreds of local residents work at the NASA-JPL facility, which also relies on parts machined in the Santa Clarita Valley, also. | Photo: Dan Watson / The Signal.

 

Richard Cook, a Canyon Country resident, is an associate director for flight projects and mission success at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He was appointed Deputy Director for Solar System Exploration in 2013, after having previously served as manager and deputy manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project during development and operations.

In those capacities, he was responsible for the design, development, launch and operations of the “Curiosity” rover that successfully landed on Mars in August 2012.

A Signal reporter spoke with Cook about his job and recent developments in the exploration of Mars.

Signal: What are your responsibilities within JPL-NASA?

Cook: I’m JPL’s associate director for flight projects, meaning that I’m responsible for overseeing all the projects we are developing plus our ongoing space missions. We explore our solar system and beyond and develop many technologies that enable this type of exploration.

My job involves reviewing plans for space missions, making sure any issues that come up are addressed and that the teams have enough resources, meaning people and facilities at JPL. I communicate regularly with NASA Headquarters in Washington to make sure they’re up to speed on our projects.

More and more missions involve international collaboration, so I coordinate with multiple international partners at space agencies around the globe.

Cook and JPL chief Charles Elachi at Curiosity’s launch in 2011.

Signal: I’ve heard there are a lot of JPL-NASA employees Santa Clarita Valley. It can be a tough commute, so why do you think it’s such a popular location for members of your team?

Cook: I’ve lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 19 years, and there are quite a few JPLers who live there as well. Most, like me, are drawn by the same things that bring other folks to Santa Clarita — namely, good schools, lots of space, friendly neighbors and a great family atmosphere.

Signal: Does JPL-NASA partner with any Santa Clarita Valley contractors, and if so, for what types of projects?

Cook: Yes, we partner with many contractors throughout the Los Angeles Basin, including current work in the Santa Clarita Valley. JPL relies on numerous vendors to design, build, test and operate our flight projects. The contractors range in size from large aerospace companies through small machine shops and specialty-service providers.

Related: Richard Cook Guests on SCVTV’s “Newsmaker” Program (Sept. 16, 2010)

Signal: What are some of the goals your organization has identified for the next five to 10 years?

Cook: NASA and JPL are preparing to launch our next large Mars Rover in the middle of 2020 and expect it to land on Mars in February 2021. We built it at JPL, and we are currently putting it through rigorous testing before we ship it to Cape Canaveral for launch.

It’s the latest in our ongoing series of space missions to explore Mars from orbit and from the surface. InSight landed on the planet in November 2018 on a mission to study the deep interior of Mars. It has been sending back intriguing data, and so has the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012.

We are also working on another large mission to explore one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, to search for habitable zones on the surface or in the subsurface ocean.

Beyond that, we are conducting several other Earth science and astrophysics missions, running NASA’s Deep Space Network (which we use to communicate to mission throughout the solar system) and supporting future NASA campaigns to the Moon and Mars.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
Court OK’s City Inspection of Solar Panels at Canyon View Estates
The city of Santa Clarita may conduct an inspection of the property containing the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside to help determine whether or not property owners complied with permits, according to a court ruling Tuesday.
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
Two Arrested in Connection with Attempted Murder Investigation
Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery, Assault team, or COBRA, are conducting an attempted murder investigation after a fight broke out Thursday near a 7-Eleven in Canyon Country.
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
Newsom Dives Into Decades-Long California Water Fight
It didn’t take long for Gavin Newsom to dive head-first into a political water fight that has bedeviled a long list of capable and successful California governors.
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The city of Santa Clarita may conduct an inspection of the property containing the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside to help determine whether or not property owners complied with permits, according to a court ruling Tuesday.
Court OK’s City Inspection of Solar Panels at Canyon View Estates
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to develop recommendations to enhance and expand access to substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
Supes Call for More Access to Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment
Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery, Assault team, or COBRA, are conducting an attempted murder investigation after a fight broke out Thursday near a 7-Eleven in Canyon Country.
Two Arrested in Connection with Attempted Murder Investigation
It didn’t take long for Gavin Newsom to dive head-first into a political water fight that has bedeviled a long list of capable and successful California governors.
Newsom Dives Into Decades-Long California Water Fight
Many Santa Clarita Valley residents felt a small jolt Tuesday night as the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude-3.6 earthquake centered about 2.5 miles north-northeast of Granada Hills.
SCV Nudged by Small Magnitude-3.6 Granada Hills Quake
A Newhall man died and three more Santa Clarita Valley residents suffered injuries in a rollover crash in a remote area of San Luis Obispo County Saturday night.
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The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to demand the awarding of two World Series titles to the LA Dodgers in the wake of a sign-stealing scandal currently rocking Major League Baseball.
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1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
Diseno map
Castaic Union School District, in partnership with the Castaic Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, will be hosting a “Be Kind to Your Community” event at Castaic Lake (lower lake), Saturday, Jan. 25, and the entire community is invited.
Jan. 25: Team Up to Clean Up Castaic Lake
Arson investigators have said the Tick Fire is not currently considered part of a criminal investigation.
Tick Fire Not Part of Criminal Investigation
Residents and visitors rely on Santa Clarita Transit to get where they need to go, and riders will soon be able to expand their transit opportunities, thanks to the new bus transfer station at the Vista Canyon development located south of the 14 Freeway.
Jan. 27: Vista Canyon Bus Transfer Center Groundbreaking
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a Business Meeting Wednesday, Jan 22, starting with a closed session at 3:30 p.m. and followed by an open session at 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 22: Santa Clarita Community College District Business Meeting
A woman and a man were both arrested on Sunday on charges related to an attempted murder investigation.
Canyon Country Woman,  Newhall Man Arrested on Attempted Murder Charges
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday the creation of a new NonProfit Council designed specifically for local 501c(3) nonprofits who are members of the Chamber to keep our local non-profits on the forefront in charitable giving, advocacy and regulations.
SCV Chamber Announces Launch of Nonprofit Council
LOS ANGELES – The second annual Los Angeles Kings Festival – in which Kings Season Ticket members and fans can meet the entire Kings team – will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Staples Center.
Feb. 27: LA Kings Festival
A multivehicle traffic collision on Highway 14 resulted in all southbound lanes closed for more than two hours Monday night.
Multi-vehicle Collision Prompts Closure of State Route 14
Back in the 1960s, there weren’t any special education programs in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Hansen Family Continues Making Impact with SCV’s Special Needs Community
Castaic Union School District is excited to announce that online Kindergarten enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now open.
Castaic Union Kindergarten Enrollment Now Open
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Scott Newhall
SCVTV is thrilled to announce a new show for you and about you — SCVTV’s Community Corner. The new show will be televised Fridays beginning January 23, 2020, on the SCVTV channels: Spectrum Channel 20, AT&T U-verse Channel 99, and online at SCVTV.com.
SCVTV Announces New Program ‘SCVTV’s Community Corner”
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board unanimously voted to recognize the week of Feb. 3-7 as National School Counseling Week across the district during Wednesday night’s board meeting.
Hart District: 1st Week of Feb. is ‘School Counseling Week’
Did you sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan last year only to find that it doesn’t meet your needs? Not to worry.You still have time to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chinese School hosted its annual Chinese New Year celebration with food, games and crafts at the Old Town Newhall Library on Saturday afternoon.
SCV Chinese School Celebrates Year of the Rat
The Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 21: Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission Special Meeting
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