Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft
Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft

Roger Gibbs has been named project manager for NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey mission, succeeding Matt Landano who was appointed the director for the JPL Office of Safety and Mission Success. Gibbs had been the deputy project manager for Odyssey; prior to launch he was the flight system manager of the Odyssey orbiter.

Gibbs came to JPL in 1973, working in the Deep Space Network while still a college student. Later, he spent several years working in the telecommunication industry before returning to JPL in 1983. He has held a number of positions in the Spacecraft Systems Group, including spacecraft chief system engineer for the Cassini mission to Saturn; manager of the Cassini systems engineering team; spacecraft chief system engineer for the Mars Observer mission to Mars; and instrument integration engineer for Mars Observer and the Galileo mission to Jupiter.

Mars Odyssey was launched on April 7, 2001 and arrived at Mars last October. The orbiter carries several instruments designed to study the chemical and mineral composition of Mars and to provide scientists with more clues to where water was and may still exist on the planet.

Gibbs has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. He received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1993 for his contribution to the Galileo and Mars Observer spacecraft, and a NASA Exceptional Service medal for his technical contribution and leadership to the Cassini Project. He lives in Altadena, Calif. with his wife Sharon and two daughters Lauren and Amanda.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the U.S. portion of the Jason mission for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, D.C.