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Fred Serricchio is a senior engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he’s worked for the past 25 years. And if you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘cmon, it’s not rocket science,’ for Fred Serricchio, it really is!  Fred’s work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has led him to work directly with the Mars Exploration Rovers as an Attitude Control System Engineer and in the Mars Science Laboratory. Fred’s work has been focused on cruise operations, entry, descent and landing (EDL), testing and operation, and surface operations. He got his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his masters in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Fred also ultra runs, a type of running that trains for distances way beyond the standard marathon length, and he is also a self defense instructor.


  • How Fred’s JPL team is contributing to the 2020 Europa mission (8:00) 
  • What NASA looks for in an employee (14:04) 
  • What happens after a mission launches (17:05) 
  • What it felt like for Fred when Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity launched (19:35)
  • How Fred copes with failed or cancelled projects (20:53) 
  • What you can do with a mechanical engineering degree (25:07) 
  • Why it’s important to follow up after you interview for an internship or job (27:46)
  • Why asking questions on the job is essential to career success (33:16) 
  • How perseverance has helped Fred achieve his goals (37:13) 
  • If you want to learn how to break into the field of space exploration at NASA please tune in to T4C Espresso Shots episode #362
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