Elizabeth Duffy visited the grade, eight science classes, vis Skype on Thursday, February 20th from the Jet Propulsion Lab at NASA. She grew up in Union, NJ and graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in 2011. She has been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA for the past 9 years as an engineer in the Sample Acquisition and Handling Group. She discussed her experiences and roles at JPL with the students, including being a test engineer for the sampling drill on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover and being a part of the Surface Operations team planning and assessing Curiosity’s activities on the surface of Mars. She then explained her new role as the Lead Mechanical Engineer of the configuration, design, test, and delivery of the Turret hardware on the Mars 2020 Rover launching in July of 2020. The students learned that the Turret is the collection of sampling equipment and instruments at the end of the rover’s Robotic Arm. She now manages a lab that is testing the Mars 2020 Rover’s Sample Caching System’s ability to acquire, transfer and store surrogate Martian rock samples under Mars conditions in a thermal chamber here at JPL.
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