header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
85°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 12
1868 - Ravenna post office established in Soledad Canyon [story]
Ravenna depot


| 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.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jun 11, 2021
America’s Job Center to Offer Career Transition Support Sessions
America’s Job Center of California is offering virtual career transition support sessions for displaced workers in Los Angeles County on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. via Zoom.
Friday, Jun 11, 2021
SCV Hotels Bounce Back as Pandemic Winds Down
As COVID-19 ravaged the nation, the hotel and hospitality industry were among the hardest hit, experiencing major losses in 2020.
Friday, Jun 11, 2021
High Heat Alert Issued Throughout L.A. County Starting Monday
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert as high temperatures have been forecast throughout the County including the Santa Clarita Valley.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1868 - Ravenna post office established in Soledad Canyon [story]
Ravenna depot
America’s Job Center of California is offering virtual career transition support sessions for displaced workers in Los Angeles County on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. via Zoom.
America’s Job Center to Offer Career Transition Support Sessions
As COVID-19 ravaged the nation, the hotel and hospitality industry were among the hardest hit, experiencing major losses in 2020.
SCV Hotels Bounce Back as Pandemic Winds Down
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert as high temperatures have been forecast throughout the County including the Santa Clarita Valley.
High Heat Alert Issued Throughout L.A. County Starting Monday
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed five new deaths and 198 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 28,037 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19  Roundup: 28,037 Total SCV Cases; County MIS-C Cases in Children Plummet
California’s high-speed rail project got a much-needed boost Friday when the federal government agreed to restore nearly $1 billion in grant funding for the embattled infrastructure project.
State and Federal Government Restore Nearly $1 Billion in Funding to the High-Speed Rail Project
Hart High School’s show choir is once again hosting its Summer Show Choir Camp next month for students fifth grade and up.
Hart High School’s Summer Show Choir Camp to Return
Due to an excessive heat forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley, the city of Santa Clarita will have its three branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library open as cooling centers beginning Tuesday, June 15.
Cooling Centers to Open In Anticipation of Excessive Heat
State legislators had until June 4 to pass their bills out of the house in which they originated, and legislators representing the Santa Clarita Valley are reporting multiple bills on the move.
Local Legislators See Bills Move Forward
Although they are still awaiting the autopsy results, Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau detectives said they do not believe at this time that foul play resulted in a body being discovered near Castaic Lake on Tuesday.
No Foul Play Suspected in Castaic Lake Investigation
In an improvement from his critical, yet stable, status last week, the Los Angeles County Fire Department captain hospitalized at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is in “fair” condition, according to officials.
Hospital Officials Say Fire Captain Now in ‘Fair’ Condition
1956 - Bill Bonelli incorporates Solemint Water Co., his second of two predecessors of Santa Clarita Water Co. [story]
Bonelli
For the past few years, Walmart Academies have focused on training our associates to succeed in their jobs and upskill for the future.
Registration Open for Walmart Santa Clarita’s Free Virtual Community Academy
Princess is introducing a new on-demand service that allows guests to call a crew member to their exact location to make an in-person request for assistance.
Princess Cruises Unveils New On-Demand Feature that Increases Personalized Service
Following its selection by the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Southern California Chapter as a 2020 Project of the Year, the city of Santa Clarita’s Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park was recently named the Innovative Design of the Year Project by the APWA’s High Desert Branch.
Canyon Country Park’s Inclusive Play Area Earns Award for Innovative Design
SCV Water’s 2021 Annual Water Quality Report is now available.
Annual SCV Water Quality Report Released
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying three robbery suspects who physically assaulted a Circle K clerk in Saugus in April.
Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Identifying Saugus Circle K Robbery Suspects
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 7 new deaths and 220 new cases of COVID-19, with 28,031 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 28,031; New Vaccination Sweepstakes Coming to L.A. County Friday
Thinking about a career move? Jumping back into the job market after a challenging year? With the end of the pandemic in sight, people may be wondering about their next job prospects, career choices, or what's next on the horizon.
June 21: JCI Santa Clarita Hosting Virtual Resume, Interview Workshop
In anticipation of the grand opening of their newest tenant, Bird Dog Arts, the Outlets at Tejon is pleased to announce, it will be hosting “Art at OAT.”
June 12: Outlets at Tejon Unveil Interactive Art Walls
More than 200 teachers gathered outside the William S. Hart Union High School District office ahead of Wednesday’s board meeting, sharing frustration over their salaries.
Hart Teachers Protest to Demand Pay Raise
The Saugus Union School District held groundbreaking events last week for a handful of new buildings coming to the Cedarcreek and Skyblue Mesa elementary schools.
Saugus Union Breaks Ground on New Cedarcreek, Skyblue Mesa Facilities
1910 - Trick roper Montie Montana of Agua Dulce born in North Dakota as Owen Harlan Mickel [story]
Montie Montana
The City of Santa Clarita is excited to announce the return of the Spirit of America Fireworks Spectacular, which will headline Fourth of July festivities in the city after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020.
“Spirit Of America” Fireworks Show Returns
%d bloggers like this: