MR. ORLANDO FIGUEROA
DIRECTOR, NASA MARS EXPLORATION PROGRAM OFFICE
Mr. Figueroa was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on
September 9, 1955. He obtained a B.S.
Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in 1978,
and completed multiple advanced studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland.
In May 2001, Mr. Figueroa was appointed to the
position of Director for the Mars Exploration
Program in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters. In this position he has overall
responsibility for the robotic exploration of Mars.
His past experience includes the position of NASA
Deputy Chief Engineer for Systems Engineering,
and 22 years at the Goddard Space Flight Center. His career at the Goddard Space Flight Center
included: Head of the Cryogenics Technology Section; manager for the Superfluid helium On Orbit
Transfer (SHOOT) Shuttle Experiment; Manager for the Small Explorers (SMEX) project; manager
for the Explorers Program; and Director of the Systems, Technology and Advanced Concepts Directorate.
Throughout his career, Mr. Figueroa has received
numerous awards for Group Achievement and
Outstanding Performance in engineering and management. He was awarded the NASA Outstanding
Leadership Medal in March 1993 for the management of the SMEX Project during the successful
development and launch of the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer. In 1994, he
received the Community Stars Award from the Maryland Science Commission for his work and support of
innovative education programs between NASA, industry and Maryland Schools. He is the author of
several technical publications in the field of cryogenics and the SMEX missions.
Mr. Figueroa lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Josephine, and two sons, Daniel and Alexis.