Dave Gingerich is a senior staff engineer in deep space exploration at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Denver. For over 35 years, he has supported the development, test, integration and operation of several compelling space-exploration missions, including:
- Four Mars orbiters – a legacy that began with the first return to Mars 20 years after Viking and continues with three spacecraft currently circling the Red Planet.
- The first mission to touch water on the surface of Mars.
- The first Mars lander to examine the planet’s interior and detect a Mars-quake.
- A mission that captured and returned to Earth samples of the sun’s outer atmosphere.
- Stardust, a mission that completed close flybys of comet Wild-2, comet Tempel-1 and asteroid Annefrank and returned to Earth the first confirmed pieces of a comet.
- A mission that took dozens of images of the frozen hydrocarbon-rich atmosphere and surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
- OSIRIS-REx that will return samples from asteroid Bennu in 2023 and Juno, providing close-up images of Jupiter’s atmosphere and the Great Red Spot.
Gingerich is an affiliate faculty member in Aviation and Aerospace Sciences at MSU Denver with publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.
He is the recipient of a dozen NASA Group Achievement awards; a member of the Planetary Society, the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and an invited speaker at the Colorado state Capitol, the MSU Denver Undergraduate Research Conference and the inaugural Innovation Talk at the Center for Innovation and Security Solutions, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.