U of I grad built instruments now sitting on Mars surface in Rover Curiosity

The successful landing this morning of NASA’s $2.5 billion Mars Rover is the culmination of 10 years work by 5,000 people including University of Idaho College of Engineering alumnus Matt Braley.

Braley is the data collection instrumentation engineer for Curiosity, the Mars River that stuck its landing after a 352 million mile leap. Braley designed and built much of the data collection system on the spacecraft both while a student and in his current job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

The southern California native served for eight years in the US Air Force as a technician servicing high performance jet fighters before coming to the University of Idaho to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering in 2005.

Braley began his work for NASA through Electrical Engineering Professor Herb Hess had worked with NASA on electric power generation on silicon chips and lithium microbatteries. Through that partnership, NASA sent electronics that Braley designed into orbit while he was still a U-Idaho student.

“Matt is a genius with computerized instrumentation data collection,” said Hess.

Braley went right from the University of Idaho to the lab and was assigned to the Mars Rover. When Hess visited him a couple of years later he had already assembled its entire instrument data collection system.

Today, his work is on the surface of Mars sending back data that lays the groundwork for a future when men and women explore the Red Planet.

“In terms of student success stories, they just don’t get any better than that,” Hess said in a press release.

Vandals Rule!

On Mars.


Perhaps he didn't realize that bsu has an engineering school when he chose to attend Idaho.


engineering isn't in the same league. UI's engineering lab has also developed techonology for the Hubble Telescope and has been contributing to NASA projects for decades.

That's great!

I have trouble getting my lawn mower started every spring. I can't imagine making something work on Mars. Well done!

Sounds like the U of I grad

is the one sitting on Mars. the headline should be, "Instruments Built by U of I Grad Now Sitting on Mars..."
regardless, congrats to another brilliant U of I student.

Headlines R Us

NASA will never call Rocko to write about their missions.

"Rover Curiosity"?

Hey Rocko, here is how the rocket scientists write it:
"NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet."


The Rocko is a scientist at writing junk- from the headline to his last dumb statement of "a future when men an women explore the Red Planet".

So does that mean we're not 'exploring' it right now?
The rover doesn't count?


You can chew bacca and spit later.

This is definitely Hot Tuna!


You fry wants with that?