Facey – Banner
Simply Taylored – Banner
San Diego Zoo – Generic – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
IHOP – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 2
AV Party Rental – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 3
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
California High Speed Rail – Palmdale – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on May 27, 2015
Home » Santa Clarita News » Canyon Country Man On Time’s 100 Most Influential People List
Canyon Country Man On Time's 100 Most Influential People List

Canyon Country Man On Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Canyon Country Man On Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.

Canyon Country resident Richard Cook is one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to TIME magazine, which released its 2013 list Thursday.

Cook, 47, shares the honor with his 67 year-old teammate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Peter Theisinger.

The two have been inseparable since at least 2003-04, when they successfully flew NASA’s twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, to Mars.

In fact, either Theisinger or Cook, or both, have led every successful NASA rover mission – and even an unsuccessful Mars project in between, a reminder that their job isn’t easy and interplanetary travel can’t be taken for granted.

WATCH: Richard Cook Newsmaker re: Curiosity Rover, 2012

WATCH: Richard Cook Newsmaker re: Curiosity Rover, 2010

Richard Cook at Jet Propulsion LaboratoryIn 1996-97, a young and brilliant Richard Cook was in charge of NASA’s very first Mars rover project – designing, building and ultimately flying and landing the Pathfinder spacecraft and its microwave-sized Sojourner rover on the red planet.

Cook has been a repeat guest on SCVTV’s “Newsmaker of the Week” program since 2003 when he was the No. 2 person, behind 1977 Voyager spacecraft veteran Theisinger, in charge of building and flying Spirit and Opportunity.

In some respects, Mars rover projects have been an SCV family affair. Santa Clarita’s Ted Drain and his team designed the navigation software, and Stevenson Ranch resident Wayne Lee – who was on the list of runners in the 2013 Boston Marathon – was in charge of entry, descent and landing for the Spirit and Opportunity missions. They were supposed to last 90 days. That was January 2004, and Opportunity is still going.

Cook was then put in charge of the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity rover) project for JPL. After a series of delays, NASA put the dynamic duo back together. Theisinger returned as No. 1 and Cook took the No. 2 post.

A step up from Spirit and Opportunity, which looked for signs of “historic water,” Curiosity is NASA’s biggest rover to date. Its job is to look for biological conditions that could have supported life – and after landing in August 2012, it didn’t take it long to find them.

Curiosity had reached Mars with navigation protocols created by Saugus resident Scott Evans and his team. As soon as the SCV’s Gene Bonfiglio and his cohorts in entry, descent and landing got the spacecraft to the planet surface, another Canyon Country resident, Jennifer Trosper, took over as mission manager, as she had done with the 2004 rovers.

“It’s not easy sending a one-ton spacecraft to a planet tens of millions of miles away, lowering it to the surface by cables and setting it free to roam about,” writes Ed Stone, NASA’s chief project scientist for the Voyager missions, in TIME magazine.

“I first got to know Pete back in the 1970s when he worked on my Voyager spacecraft team,” Stone writes. “I could tell even then that he was energetic, inquisitive and, of course, smart. When his turn came to run his own operation, he not only did a stellar job but found equally talented personnel like Richard, who was part of the Pathfinder mission team that landed the first rover on Mars in 1997.”

“When Curiosity touched down on Mars last summer,” Stone writes, “it showed us a desert-like scene that is at once faintly familiar and utterly new. We can’t thank Pete, Richard and their team enough for getting it there safely, and we should continue to thank them for the wisdom and thrills the rover will bring us as it explores its new home.”

Pictured: Richard Cook, Richard Cook, Pete Theisinger

SCVnews.com contributed to this report

Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, Or drop us a line at community@hometownstation.com

Canyon Country Man On Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
AV Party Rental – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Adage IT – Tile
Newhall Land – Tile
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Tile
Union Bank – Tile
Wicall’s Carpet
Green Convergence – Tile