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Mars 2021 Canadian Connection

Updated: Feb 15


Dr. Francis is an engineer with specialty in mission science operations and autonomy. He works in operations for Mars 2020 and for the SuperCam instrument. He has worked Mars Science Laboratory operations since 2012, including as a member of the ChemCam team. He is the system engineer for the deployment of the AEGIS autonomous targeting software to the rovers.


He was previously the system engineer for the Mars 2020 Science Team training program ("ROASTT"). Other previous work includes airborne science operations, field robotics and geology studies in a variety of environments, stratospheric ballon operations, and payload development for stratospheric platforms and for the International Space Station.


If you would like to hear the full interview with Bob McDonald and Dr. Francis, here’s the link:

https://www.cbc.ca/search?q=Quirks%20and%20Quarks&section=radio&sortOrder=relevance&media=all


YouTube live feed NASA link:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tITni_HY1Bk


About the mission:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5qqsMjy8Rx0


About Ingenuity, Mars first helicopter and the challenges it faces:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qwdfdE6ruMw


Dr. Francis is one of a few engineers tasked with zapping rocks with a laser and collecting samples for analysis on Earth. He was born in Ontario.