CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars)
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The Team

Teck Choo | CRISM ground system software developer

T. H. Choo

CRISM ground system software developer

Where did you grow up?
On a small island called Penang in Malaysia.

How did you get interested in space exploration?

Through a physics professor named Tom Armstrong when I was at the University of Kansas.

What's your educational background?
I went to high school in Penang and went to University of Kansas for a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and also a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering.

What are your hobbies?
Swimming, fishing, and building Legos, sometimes with my kids and sometimes by myself. I build software Legos too.

What's your job on CRISM?
To build the software system that lets us command the instrument.

How did you make the transition from electrical engineering to software?
From electrical engineering I learned a lot of problem solving skills, and we used software to solve those problems. When I learned about space exploration I realized there are a lot of challenges in it, and software gives me a way to deal with those challenges.

What excites you about exploring Mars?

To find things that are similar to Earth, and potentially even life, and whether ancient life existed on Mars.

What advice would you give to someone like you who wants to get involved in space exploration?
Get yourself involved in any engineering and learn about math and physics. In high school take science classes in physics or Earth science, either of those would help. When you go to college, find an engineering school where some of the professors are involved in NASA projects.