“Juno is a go for launch.”
Janis Chodas (EngSci 7T8, MASc. UTIAS 8T0) will never forget those words – the verbal go-ahead she gave to launch the Juno spacecraft in 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
At the time, the U of T Engineering alumna was the project manager for the Juno mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which sent the Juno to Jupiter. The spacecraft, armed with nine instruments, was “designed to study how Jupiter formed and evolved, in order to understand how our solar system formed and evolved,” said Chodas.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory carries out robotic missions on Earth, as well as in space – including missions to Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the comet Tempel 1.
“The launch of the Juno spacecraft was the culmination of years of hard work by a tightly knit team,” Chodas said. “As the project manager, I drew on my management, communication and organizational skills to lead this talented team through the building and launching of a very sophisticated spacecraft.”
Chodas’s passion for space exploration is just one of the many reasons she will be receiving an honorary degree June 19 from the University of Toronto.