JPL Engineer Builds on His Native American Heritage

JPL engineer Aaron Yazzie talks about testing of Mars rovers. (Photo: Elisa Haber)

Aaron Yazzie, payload and spacecraft mechanical engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shared his experiences working on the Curiosity rover and the InSight lander, the next mission scheduled to go to Mars, with attendees at a luncheon held in observance of National Native-American Heritage Month.

Yazzie, who was born and raised on the Navajo reservation, also discussed his heritage and the challenges that make it difficult for Native Americans to break into technical careers. He talked about building on his heritage in his career and his continuing commitment to his tribal family.

The event, held Thursday, Nov. 20, was sponsored by the Aerospace American-Indian and Alaskan-Native Council, one of eight affinity groups at Aerospace dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

(Photo: The Aerospace Corporation)

—Kimberly Locke