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Meet: Cheick Diarra

Manager, Mars Exploration Program Education and
Public Outreach Office for Pathfinder
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California


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My Education

I was born in the republic of Mali, West Africa where I completed my high school education. I then moved to Paris, France and attended the University of Pierre and Marie Curie where I earned a bachelor's of science degree in Mathematics, Physics and Analytical Mechanics. In Washington, D.C., at Howard University, I completed my master's in Aerospace Engineering and my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Career Journey

I became a faculty member of the Howard University School of Engineering and taught for five years. In 1988 I joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California as an interplanetary navigator. Since coming to JPL, I've worked on the Magellan mission to Venus, the Ulysses mission to the poles of the Sun, Galileo to Jupiter and Mars Observer. Currently I manage the Mars Exploration Program Education and Public Outreach Office for Pathfinder. I also manage the Mission Design Team for the future Mars missions.


Learn more from my Web chats
February 12, l998

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