Richard Cook, Mars Sample Return Program Manager
Richard Cook is the Mars Sample Return Program Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In that capacity, he is responsible for coordination and execution of all NASA components of the Mars Sample Return Program. Prior to this role, he served as JPL’s Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success and was responsible for oversight of all development and operational projects. Previously, he served as Deputy Director for Solar System Exploration at JPL and Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project during development and operations. In the latter 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, he 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. Richard began his JPL career in 1989 working navigation & mission design.
Mr. Cook received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been the recipient of a number of awards of recognition including three NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow and an IAA Full Member.