Dr. Michael Watkins has been named as the new director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
According to Charles Bolden, the NASA Administrator, Dr. Watkins is no stranger to the NASA family. In more than two decades at JPL, Dr. Watkins played a major role in the Mars Curiosity Rover, Cassini, Mars Odyssey, GRACE, GRAIL, and the GRACE Follow-on missions, to name just a few. He succeeds retiring JPL Director Charles Elachi. Bolden added that when American astronauts reach Mars in the 2030s, it will be in large part because of the work that Dr. Elachi and his JPL team have done in tandem with NASA colleagues, collaborators and contractors throughout the nation and the world.