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Martian Aztecs

​Joseph D. Brown

B.S. Aerospace Engineering (2005)
Entry, descent and landing engineer

Douglas J. Clark

B.A. Physics (1985)
Avionics systems engineer

Jordan Evans

B.S. Aerospace Engineering (1993)
Engineering Development and Operations Manager

Brandon T. Florow

B.S. Aerospace Engineering (2005)
Mechanical Systems Engineer

Mark S. Ryne

B.A. Astronomy (1980)
Space Craft Navigator

Bonnie C. Theberge

B.A. Electrical Engineering (1986)
Mars Science Lab Test Bed group supervisor


Amanda Jeremiah Thomas

B.S. Aerospace Engineering (1996)
NASA Deep Space Network supervisor

San Diego State

  • This SDSU team of "Martian Aztecs" directly contributed to aspects of design, development, testing and operation of NASA’s $2.5 billion program that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars in 2012.
  • These alumni contributed to many aspects of the project including the overall design and development of the rover, landing radar system, flight navigation to Mars, deep space communication links from Mars to Earth, internal electronics, Earth-based testing and defining mechanical clearances necessary for vehicle separation.
  • For his crucial role on the Curiosity Rover Project, Jordan Evans was awarded NASA’s prestigious “Outstanding Leadership Medal” and is regularly called upon to deliver keynote addresses and inspirational talks to national and international audiences, including TEDx.
  • Members of the “Martian Aztecs” were selected to receive the 2013 AIAA Foundation Award of Excellence and the Robert J. Collier Trophy on behalf of the Curiosity Rover Team. The Collier Trophy, on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, has been awarded every year since 1911 to recognize the greatest achievement in aeronautics and astronautics.
  • While students at SDSU, Joseph Brown and Brandon Florow founded the SDSU Rocket Project which built and launched an 18-foot tall liquid fueled rocket. Today's SDSU students continue in their footsteps and keep the Rocket Project alive with continued improvements in design and technology.

Notable CSU Alumni in science & technology

science & technology
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