Joe Guinn


Mission Manager,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Joe Guinn

Hi, my name is Joseph Guinn, most folks call me Joe. I'm a native Texan transplanted to southern California in the 1980s to pursue a career navigating spacecraft at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Right now, I manage the mission designers, navigators and mission operations teams who are preparing to send the next Mars lander mission, called "Phoenix", on its way in August, 2007. Besides planning the passage from Earth to Mars, I coordinate the activities of the engineers and scientists who will remotely operate the lander after it arrives on Mars in May 2008.

This hobby, um, I mean job, is a dream come true. It all started in fourth grade with a great teacher (thanks Mrs. Ball) who helped me make a connection with math. I wound up with BS and MS aerospace engineering degrees from the University of Texas in Austin and landed the JPL job. Funny as it may sound, the first big event I worked on was the Voyager 2 Uranus planetary flyby. After that, I spent several years working with Global Positioning System applications for Earth orbiting missions like TOPEX/Poseidon and EO-1. When the Mars 98 missions ran into trouble I formed the first Navigation Advisory Group (NAG) at JPL then found myself supervising the Inner Planets Navigation Group largely made up of Mars missions. Since 1999, I've worked on six Mars flights. After, the phenomenal success of the Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Express missions Phoenix is challenging me in new ways; fortunately, I have a talented team who live for this stuff like I do.

For downtime, I enjoy hiking with my bride Christina and our dog Beezer. I also like playing softball, biking, making videos, and I'm a bass player currently without a band.

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