Drs. Adam Steltzner & Moogega Cooper Headshot
Drs. Adam Steltzner & Moogega Cooper
Drs. Adam Steltzner & Moogega CooperHeadshot

Drs. Adam Steltzner & Moogega Cooper

Dynamic Engineering Duo from the NASA 2020 Mars Mission Share Strategies for “Sustaining Awesome” on Complex Projects and Teams

NASA duo shares lessons learned and best practices from the launch of the current Mars 2020 mission to help leaders and teams “Sustain Awesome.”

Complex, multi-year projects like the Mars 2020 mission have their own unique challenges, even when they aren’t forced to launch during a global pandemic. A mission ten years in the making, Mars 2020 was plunged into uncertainty at a crucial juncture when NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory team of 6,000+ was forced to operate remotely. Remarkably, the mission managed to achieve all original assembly and launch timelines. On February 18th, 2021, the Mars rover Perseverance and the robotic helicopter Ingenuity landed safely on the red planet.

Chief Engineer for the mission, Dr. Adam Steltzner shares his leadership insights with a focus on how organizations can ensure they are providing the right structure and foundation for complex projects and what leaders can do to nurture and support teams to produce their very best work. As the mission’s Lead for Planetary Protection, Dr. Moogega Cooper (“Dr. Moo”) explores the team’s incredibly broad range of skills and personalities and the innovative culture of “Perseverance” and “Ingenuity” that sustained mission success.

The duo’s energy and enthusiasm—for space exploration, science, and the power of teams—are contagious. Whether talking about NASA’s successful reinvention and culture of innovation, the importance of STEM careers, the search for life beyond our planet or the future of space tourism, this Keppler-exclusive duo acts as a powerful catalyst, inspiring teams to “to dare greatly, succeed mightily, and sustain awesome.”

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