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Jesse Grimes-York


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105
Pasadena, CA 91101


(818) 354-3585



Jesse Grimes-York

Member of Technical Staff


Jesse joined the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section of JPL in 2013. His background includes mechanical design of traditional metal assemblies as well as composite structures. His graduate work focused on a human scale biped robot with series compliance. His undergraduate work focused on a robotic arm for a six wheeled, teleoperated rover that competed in, and won a international university level competition.

At JPL he supported ground testing of the InSight Mars Landers Instrument Deployment System. He also designed and built the Mars Sample Return Testbed Robotic Arm. A 7DoF 3.5m long arm used to help develop and test ideas for the Mars Sample Return mission. He also built an actuation mechanism for a prototype microspine asteroid gripper. He also designed the Sample Vault & Measurement system for a the BiBlade Comet Surface Sampling Return mission concept.

Recently, Jesse was the Cognizant Engineer of the Sealing & Drop-off Station, a part of the Mars 2020 Rovers Sample Caching Subsystem. Jesse led a small team with a diverse set of skills through the concept creation & selection, through detailed design, fabrication, assembly and test of the flight hardware bound for the surface of Mars. The Sealing & Drop-off Station activates the Hermetic Seals onto the Sample Tubes that will contain rock core and regolith samples from the surface of Mars. It is also the last stop of these priceless samples before the leave the Rover to be brought back to Earth via the following Sample Return Mission.


Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Oregon State University, 2013
Thesis: ATRIAS 1.0 & 2.1: Enabling Agile Biped Locomotion with a Tempalte-Driven Approach to Robot Design
Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Oregon State University, 2011


  1. R. Toda, Y. Bae, J. Grimes-York, M. Badescu, P. Vieira, S. Moreland, P. Backes and H. Manohara, "FiSI: Fiberscope Sample Imaging System for Robotic Comet Surface Sample Return Missions," IEEE, 01 January 2016.
  1. P. Backes, C. McQuin, M. Badescu, A. Ganino, H. Manohara, Y. Bae, R. Toda, N. Wiltsie, S. Moreland, J. Grimes-York, P. Walkemeyer, E. Kulczycki, C. Dandino, "Sampling System Concepts for a Touch-and-Go Architecture Comet Surface Sample Return Mission," American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., 01 January 2014.