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James Webb Telescope
Mars Communications

Third IEEE International Conference on
Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology

Keynote Presentation (Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 8:30pm)

Jeff NorrisJeff Norris
Supervisor, Planning Software Systems Group, NASA JPL

"Space Invaders"


What does driving robots have in common with Pac-Man?  What can we learn about mission operations from a video game?  Many video games are marvelous achievements in human-computer interaction that enable untrained players to pick up sophisticated controllers and immediately execute complex tasks.  This talk explores the surprising similarities between computer games and mission control software and the inspiration that can be found in their juxtaposition.


Dr. Jeff Norris is the supervisor of the Planning Software Systems Group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  His group develops operations systems for a variety of space missions including the Phoenix Mars Scout, Cassini Saturn Orbiter, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers-- for which his team was co-winner of the 2004 NASA Software of the Year Award.  He is currently leading the development of the uplink system for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory Rover mission and operations software development within NASA’s multi-center lunar Human Robotic Systems technology development project.  Jeff founded the JPL OPS Lab, an advanced agile development facility for the design, development, and deployment of mission operations software and human-robot interaction technologies.  Jeff helped operate the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers as a Tactical Activity Planner during the prime mission.  He received Bachelor's and Masters degrees in Computer Science from MIT, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and lives with his wife and two children near Pasadena, CA.

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