Penn Staters Lead the Way to Mars

August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

With apologies to all those hard-working athletes over in the UK, this might be the celebratory photo of the day: A couple of NASA engineers rejoicing after receiving confirmation that the Mars rover Curiosity had landed intact on the red planet.

That’s Brian Schratz ’06, ’08 MS embracing a colleague Monday morning at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California, where they monitored the rover’s descent onto the Martian surface after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey. Schratz, the entry descent and landing communications lead for the mission, is one of two Penn Staters on the team; senior propulsion systems engineer (and fellow College of Engineering grad) Ray Baker ’98 is the other.

Congrats to Schratz, Baker, and everyone who made this bit of history happen.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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