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Justin Koch


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91101





Member of:

347Z - Advanced Robotic Systems

Justin Koch

Robotics Mechanical Engineer


Justin Koch is a robotics engineer in the Robotic Actuation and Sensing group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His research focuses on the design, testing, and operation of extreme environment robotic systems on Earth, Mars, and Ocean Worlds. Justin has led hardware development for a number of novel robotic systems, including a robotic arm for underwater mobile manipulation and an under-ice buoyant rover that explores polar ice-water interfaces. He has also operated robotic systems on Mars including the Curiosity Rover, Perseverance Rover, and Ingenuity Helicopter. Justin currently divides his time between roles as Mechanical Lead for the Europa Lander Field Sampling Campaign and Helicopter Integration Engineer Lead for Mars Helicopter operations.


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015), California Institute of Technology

Professional Experience

Walt Disney Imagineering, Advanced Development, Summer 2014

SpaceX, Structures 1st Stage, Summer 2013

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mobility and Robotics Systems, Summer 2012

Research Interests

  • Underwater Mobile Manipulation
  • Field Robotics
  • Robotic Arm and End-Effector Design
  • Embedded Systems
  • Robotic Operations

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Flight Projects
Robot Operations
Research Tasks
Mars Sample Transfer Testbed (MSTT)
Underwater Mobile Manipulation


  1. V. Verma, F. Hartman, A. Rankin, M. Maimone, T. Del Sesto, O. Toupet, E. Graser, S. Myint, K. Davis, D. Klein, J. Koch, S. Brooks, P. Bailey , H. Justice, M. Dolci, H. Ono, "First 210 solar days of Mars Perseverance Robotic Operations - Mobility, Robotics Arm, Sampling, and Helicopter," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 05 March 2022.