Mr. Lavery is responsible for executive oversight of the design and development of the next generation of Mars exploration spacecraft, and the advanced technologies to enable them. He is currently responsible for the two Mars Exploration Rover missions, and the NASA participation in the joint European-U.S. Mars Express mission, all of which arrived at Mars this past year. In addition, he leads the Mars Advanced Technology Program which is creating new approaches to remote exploration by robotic systems.
Prior to these assignments, Mr. Lavery directed the NASA Telerobotics Research Program for 12 years. While at NASA, Mr. Lavery has been a participant in the field party for the Dante I and Dante II projects, which deployed robotic rovers inside active volcanoes in the Antarctic and Alaska during 1992 and 1994.
He was the program manager for the AERcam/Sprint project, which flew a self-contained, free-flying robotic camera platform on the STS-86 Space Shuttle mission in 1996, and for the Sojourner planetary rover, which landed on Mars on July 4, 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder mission.
Lavery also founded and directs the NASA Robotics Education Project, which includes the agency’s participation in the FIRST robotics competition program.