Dan JohnstonDan Johnston is the Project Manager of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He has been a member of the MRO Project from its inception in 2000, through launch in 2005, and during its flight operations in Mars orbit since 2006. He was the mission design manager during project formulation and implementation.  Later roles have included deputy mission manager, mission manager, and deputy project manager.

Mr. Johnston received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering degree from The University of Texas in 1984 and a Master of Science in Engineering degree from the University of Texas in 1989. Since joining JPL in 1989, he has participated in the development and flight operations phases of the Mars Observer and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) missions. He has also participated in various advanced mission studies focused on remote sensing of the Earth and future Mars exploration concepts. He has been awarded NASA Exceptional Achievement medals for the aerobraking of MGS, the aerobraking of MRO, and the MRO project support of the Mars Science Laboratory’s Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) event. His technical interests include advanced spacecraft mission analysis, spacecraft trajectory design (in particular, the spacecraft rendezvous problem) and spacecraft guidance systems.

Prior to joining JPL, he was employed with the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company in Houston, TX in support of STS (Shuttle) rendezvous flight planning and Strategic Defense Initiative projects.