Luis Dominguez has waited seven months to see his work on the Mars rover Perseverance come to fruition.
The rover, produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is expected to touch down on Mars Feb. 18 and employ the electronics and software crafted by the team Dominguez led.
Dominguez (‘09, mechanical engineering) served as the deputy electrical integration and test lead for the rover, which will gather soil and rock samples from the surface of Mars to be picked up by a future mission.
In an interview with NBC Los Angeles, the South Los Angeles native discussed his passion for aerospace engineering from a young age and his desire to inspire young people from his community to believe that they can transform their lives.
Dominguez graduated early from high school and began at Cal Poly Pomona as a 16-year-old freshman. He secured an internship at JPL while studying engineering and never left the company. Thirteen years later he is not only working on his second Mars rover, but leading a team crucial to the rover’s mission.
Dominguez remains engaged with the student body, sharing his story and passing along important lessons learned along the way through volunteer opportunities and Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association events like the 2020 Latinx Heritage Month celebration.