Mars rover driver Maxwell leaves NASA to write software for Google

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 11:50 hrs

Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell has left NASA for Google.

On his last day at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday, Maxwell said JPL and he has grown in different directions, and that he is not a good fit there anymore, reports CNN.

Maxwell said his new job is not as different from the old one as one might think.

At Google, Maxwell will be writing high-reliability software. For example, when one directs his browser to, he should get the Google homepage. It's critical to keep errors rare, just like with software that controls equipment on Mars, he said.

Maxwell helped write the software that has been used for the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and for Curiosity, which landed August 6 and recently got to try out its drill on the Martian surface.

Maxwell said he would miss the tactical aspect of his job: the actual process of planning a day on Mars for the rover. He said he will miss the people he has worked with at the JPL, such as the other rover drivers and science team members.

Maxwell's new role will be at a Google office in the Los Angeles area, where he is based. (ANI)

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