Benjamin Cichy

Chief Software Engineer
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory
Benjamin Cichy is the Chief Software Engineer on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. His team built the software at the core of the Curiosity Rover's brain that controlled the spacecraft throughout the mission, including the risky "Seven Minutes of Terror" landing sequence that successfully placed Curiosity on the surface of Mars on August 5th. Prior to joining MSL, Ben played key roles on NASA's last mission to Mars – the Phoenix Mars lander - culminating in the successful landing of Phoenix in 2008. For his work on Phoenix Ben was awarded NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal. Ben holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Computer Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.