Dr. Moogega Cooper

Trailblazing Engineer of the famed Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ Mission, NASA-JPL

Trailblazing Engineer of the famed Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ Mission for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A real life “Guardian of the Galaxy,” Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the red planet safe from any of the Earth’s contaminants. Moo is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with its highly viewed landing on February 18, 2021. Her work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and that we don’t harm what’s already there—a job she has been working up to for most of her life.

After graduating from high school at 16, Cooper studied physics as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree and went on to earn her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at 24 years old with a dissertation on spacecraft materials.

Moo is passionate about empowering organizations and others to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles that she articulately conveys through her life story and love of her work. A role model for women in science and technology, she is also passionate about introducing more people to the wonders of the STEAM world, including by talking about her work to boys and girls from underrepresented communities and appearing on shows like Because Space and Bill Nye Saves the World.

Moo is a recipient of several awards, including the NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, the Charles Elachi Award for Exceptional Early Career Achievement, and JPL Voyager Awards for Technical Leadership.


Thursday Afternoon Keynote Summit 2021

Join the afternoon keynotes, where we bring together the community to learn from thought leaders in Data + AI.  The NASA Mars Perseverance team joins us to share their stories in reaching the red planet. 


We’ll be interviewing Mooega Cooper, Lead Planetary Protection Engineer, and Adam Steltzner, “rock and roll” engineer at JPL on how important collaboration and innovation is to make the impossible possible. 


DJ Patil will join us to talk about data in healthcare and government.  DJ is America’s first Chief Data Scientist, appointed by Barack Obama to lead data-driven decision making across the government.  He also led COVID data initiatives for the State of  California and was CTO of the Biden/Harris transition team.  Prior to working on government and healthcare, he led data efforts at eBay and LinkedIn, where he coined the role “data scientist.” 


Manuela M Veloso will be speaking about the intersection of machine learning and finance.  Dr. Veloso is the Head of J.P. Morgan AI Research and a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where she previously led the Machine Learning Department. In addition to her work on finance, she co-founded the RoboCup international robotics competition and led the CMU team to its fifth world championship.