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photo of John Skok

John Skok
MDRS Spaceward Bound Crew 53

J.R has always had an eye toward the stars. He begun working at his local observatory when he was 13 and learned to share his love of astronomy with the public and became an instructor during the observatory’s summer camps. The next year he began a three year research program, focusing on Martian cratering rates in the Tharsis region. This led to several science fair awards and being named a semifinalist in the Intel National Science Competition.

He is currently a geoscience major at Cornell University. Since 2003 he has been a programmer for the Pancam cameras on the Mars Exploration Rovers. He has calibrated over 100,000 images and written several of the programs used for calibration. He also works to construct many of the true color mosaics produced by the rovers, stitching together many small images to create the large panoramas.

This past summer he has worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center working to develop an instrument for a future Mars mission. J.R. plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Planetary Science and become a university professor where he will continue the exploration of Mars and beyond.   



This opportunity is brought to you by the
NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD)
in partnership with
Mars Society,
NASA Explorer Schools,
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS),
National Society of Black Engineers - Space Special Interest Group (NSBE - Space),
Space Generation.

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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: June 2011