110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, CA
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the NASA center that focuses on unmanned robotic space missions. They produced the suite of Rovers on Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. Their missions investigate the planets and include the first human-made device to leave the solar system, the Voyager 1 probe. In his 5 years there, Peter Basch has worked on proposals for space telescopes, documentation for Martian parachutes, and scientific journal articles. Peter will discuss the unexpected challenges of the public sector, including the lack of branding identity, responsibility without authority, and the need for charisma and cunning to implement complex documentation workflows. He will explore what it means to belong to one of humanity’s most exciting enterprises -- and to be invited to a launch!
Peter Basch has a BA in Physics from Columbia University. He started grad school at Berkeley in astrophysics, but left to act and write in NY. He supported himself as a word processor on Wall Street, where he worked on the IBM Displaywriter, Xerox 6085, Wang, WordPerfect, and Word.
Peter was in several sketch comedy teams before writing a one-act that brought him back to California where he met his wife and family. He rebranded himself as a technical writer and joined STC. He found his position at JPL on the STC job board. He has been in JPL’s technical documentation group for five years.