Episode 174: How Do You Fly a Helicopter on Mars?

Meet the Expert: Keri Bean, systems engineer

Keri Bean, engineer

credit: Dutch Slager


Keri Bean is a senior systems engineer at Sierra Space. I am currently a member of the Dream Chaser flight operations spacecraft systems team. She was the deputy lead Rover Planner (aka Mars rover driver and robotic arm operator) on the Curiosity rover and  a Helicopter Integration Engineer for the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. She was also one of the Mars rover Opportunity’s final engineers. She has also worked on the Spirit Mars rover, Phoenix Mars lander, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the asteroid missions Dawn, NEAScout, and Psyche. She got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University in meteorology, with her focus on studying the weather on Mars. used to be a systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she worked in operations for a variety of spacecraft.



NASA Mars Helicopter

The Ingenuity team attaches a piece to the flight model in early 2019. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech



Want to learn more about the Ingenuity Helicopter? Check out this NASA website



Challenge: Watch videos of NASA’s Ingenuity and Perserverance operating on Mars.

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Curiosity book by Markus Motum

Highlighted book for this episode! 

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum








Book List: 

You Are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’Brien (Author, Illustrator)

Mars: The Red Planet: Rocks, Rovers, Pioneers, and More! by Elizabeth Carney

Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars  by Richard Ho (Author), Katherine Roy (Illustrator)

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch

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