Mission Operations Engineer

Posts by Joey Jefferson

Joey Jefferson

My name is Albert Joseph Jefferson IV, but I go by Joey Jefferson. I am currently a mission operations engineer working with the Multi Mission Scheduling Services team, and the lead Deep Space Network Scheduler for Juno, Mars 2020, ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission, and ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter missions. To put it in simple terms, I am a liaison between the project and the Deep Space Network, negotiating time on NASA’s precious network of antennas used to communicate with spacecraft outside the Earth’s atmosphere. My job exists because if every project got the time they requested on the network, there wouldn’t be enough time in the day to allow for all of the requests. It’s a rewarding job, since not only do I need to thoroughly understand the tracking requirements of the missions I lead, but also all of the missions who track over the Deep Space Network since I will need to negotiate against them. 

Previously, I was on the flight control team for Spitzer and Cassini, real-time commanding both spacecraft at JPL. You can catch me on the Netflix documentary “7 Days Out” where I talk about my job and my love for spacecraft communications.