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November 21st Speaker

David H. Lehman:  "NASA’s Space Missions to Mars"

David H. Lehman / November Speaker


Mars is hard! Roughly sixty percent of all spacecraft destined for Mars failed before completing their missions and some failed before their observations could begin. In this presentation, you will learn how NASA manages its space missions and how space missions are designed. You will also learn what NASA is doing at Mars now with its Mars Exploration Program and future NASA plans with its Mars Sample Return Program and ARTEMIS Program that will enable humans to explore Mars.

David H. Lehman / November Speaker


Mr. Lehman worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, USA for 40-years until his retirement in 2021. His career highlights include Technical Manager for the development for the Mars Pathfinder Attitude and Information Management Subsystem, Project Manager for the Deep Space One mission, Project Manager for the lunar explorer Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and Project Manager for the Mars Odyssey mission. Following his retirement his focus is on being a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador to provide the public information and the excitement about real missions that explore our solar system.

Prior to JPL, Mr. Lehman was a naval nuclear engineering officer on the submarine USS Abraham Lincoln. After completing active duty, he continued as a Navy reservist while working at JPL. As a reservist he was Commanding Officer of Naval Air Systems Command Reserve Unit 1294, San Diego, CA, and Commanding Officer of Naval Air Weapons Center Reserve Unit 0276, China Lake, CA and is now a retired Navy Captain.

Mr. Lehman’s personal awards include the NASA exceptional achievement medal for work on Mars Pathfinder, the NASA outstanding leadership medal for work on Deep Space One and the NASA outstanding leadership medal for work on GRAIL. His Navy decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Mr. Lehman graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and holds a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University, and a Master of Business Management from West Coast University.

Mr. Lehman’s is married to the former Monika Chmielewska from Warsaw, Poland. They live in Pasadena, California, USA. His hobbies including trying to be a good husband, volunteering at the Huntington Library, Union Station Homeless Services and Trinity Presbyterian Church, motor boating, horseback riding, target shooting, and drag racing. 

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Third Tuesday of Every Month: 6PM – 9PM
Poinsettia Pavilion
    3451 Foothill Rd Ventura, CA 93003
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