Flight Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Keith Comeaux was the Flight Director during the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars in August of last year. Keith joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2006 to lead Curiosity’s entry, descent and landing validation effort. In 2008, he transitioned to the assembly, integration and test team as the deputy systems manager and was responsible for leading the Curiosity's system test activities during its two year construction through launch at Cape Canaveral in November, 2011. Following launch, Keith served as the Cruise engineering operations team chief. In this role, he led the engineering team responsible for operating Curiosity during its eight and a half month cruise to Mars, culminating with its landing. Presently, Keith is one of several mission managers responsible for the safe operation of Curiosity as it begins its journey of discovery on the Martian surface.
Before arriving at JPL, Keith worked for Boeing’s Satellite Development Center (formerly Hughes Space & Communications) for eleven years in varying roles of increasing responsibility. While at Boeing, he received the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Lawrence Sperry Award which recognizes contributions made by aerospace professionals early in their careers.
Keith graduated from LSU in Mechanical Engineering and Physics and completed Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He also completed his MBA at UCLA. A native of Baton Rouge, Keith and his wife, Cecilia, and their children, Evie and Max, live in Redondo Beach, California.