Matthew R. Landano was appointed director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in April 2002. Prior to that appointment, he was the Mars 2001 Odyssey project manager and deputy director for the Flight Projects Directorate. In 2000, he was appointed division manager for the Flight Projects Engineering Office. Prior to that, Landano served as the Galileo deputy flight director, Galileo Orbiter spacecraft manager and Galileo Spacecraft system engineer from 1984 to 1998. In earlier years, beginning in 1969, Landano was a key member of the system engineering staff supporting the Viking Orbiter and Voyager projects.
Landano received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2007, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals in 1991 and 1997, a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1995 for Galileo, and the Aviation Week Laurel Award for Spacecraft Development in 1989. Landano has played key roles supporting many projects including Deep Space 1, Genesis, Stardust, Deep Impact, Galaxy Evolution Explorer, Cassini, Spitzer, CloudSat and Mars missions. Additionally, he has supported several earth science and astrophysics missions. Landano is the initial author of the JPL Design Verification/Validation and Operations Principles for Flight Systems, which set the standard for all development projects at JPL.
He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from California State University at Los Angeles.