Press Release

JPL Names Chief Engineer for Mars Exploration Program

By SpaceRef Editor
October 9, 2001
Filed under , ,

Charles Whetsel has been named Chief Engineer of the Mars
Program, a position he has held in an acting capacity since

As chief engineer, Whetsel will lead the technical
development of all current and future Mars missions. Along
with other members of the Mars Program staff, he will identify
promising mission architectures and technologies, while
resolving technical issues affecting multiple projects within
the existing Mars Program. He will also lead the Mars Program
Systems Engineering Team, comprised of senior engineers from
across NASA and other key international space agencies
participating in the cooperative exploration of Mars.

At JPL since 1989, Whetsel has worked on a variety of
missions, including Cassini, Mars Observer and the Mars Global
Surveyor. He was also the orbiter payload manager for the Mars
Sample Return Study, a position he left in 1999 to become
manager of the Flight Systems Engineering and Test Section.

Whetsel received a bachelor’s degree in planetary science
and another in aeronautics and astronautics from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., and a
master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford
University, Stanford, Calif. He is also the recipient of two
NASA Exceptional Achievement Awards for his work on Mars
Global Surveyor. Whetsel lives in Pasadena with his family.

JPL manages the Mars Exploration Program for NASA’s
Office of Space Sciences, Washington D.C. JPL is a division of
the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

SpaceRef staff editor.