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Richard Cook

Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

B.S. Engr. Physics 1987, University of Colorado Boulder
M.S. ASE 1989, The University of Texas at Austin

Richard Cook is Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing all on-going and planned flight mission design, development and flight operations activities.

Cook received a B.S. degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado and an M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

In 2013, Cook was appointed Deputy Director for Solar System Exploration, 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.

Prior to that, Cook was the Flight System Manager for the Mars Exploration Rover Project during development and served as Project Manager during the primary science operations phase. He served as the Mars Surveyor Operations Project Manager during the MGS & Mars ’98 missions. His Mars Program involvement started with the Mars Pathfinder mission, for which he served as Project System Engineer and Mission Manager. Cook began his JPL career in 1989 working navigation and mission design.