Dr. Keith Comeaux ‘85, chief of the cruise and engineering operations team for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Flight Director for the Mars Curiosity Rover Landing, returned to Catholic High School on Wednesday, October 10, to present to the students and faculty about the Mars Curiosity Rover.
During his presentation to the entire school, Dr. Comeaux gave some science lessons about the Curiosity Rover. He showed photos and videos of the Mars Curiosity Rover from its development to its liftoff and explained the science that went into making Curiosity the incredible rover that it is. He explained that the rover is in search of organic matter, which is the second step to discovering if life existed on the Red Planet. The three components for life to exist are water, which was discovered by previous landings and rovers, organic molecules and a source of heat. Dr. Comeaux shared how the curiosity rover is able to collect rocks from Mars and process them inside its internal laboratory.
Along with the science lessons, Dr. Comeaux also shared some important life lessons. He was happy to tell the students that he once was in their shoes. He stressed the importance of taking advantage of the educational and extracurricular opportunities that Catholic High offers.
“Just as there are three components you need to prove life exists, there are three components you need to have a successful life: 1. Find something you love to do, 2. Find something you are good at and 3. Find someone to pay you for it,” said Comeaux. “You guys have your whole futures ahead of you, and I can’t wait to see what you do.”
After the school assembly, Dr. Comeaux went to individual physics classes where he went more in-depth about the physics needed for the rover and answered student questions.
The students enjoyed the opportunity to have such a successful alumnus return to school and talk to them. Here are what some students had to say about having Dr. Comeaux back at CHS:
“I am really excited to see people who went to CHS in the past succeed and to come back and still care about our school,” said Joseph St. Cyr ’13.
“It is very inspiring to see a graduate of catholic high to be as successful as he is and to think that we, as students, may become as influential as he is one day,” said George Jeha ’13.
“I love the fact that one of our alumni can come back and give back to our community. He’s done so much, not only for us here at Catholic, but for the entire world,” said Joseph Angelloz ’13
“I think that it’s really cool to see what someone who’s been in our shoes has achieved and what we can achieve if we work hard like he has,” said Phillip Rodman ’13
“It’s cool to see how our subjects we’re taking in school really connect to the real world and how they actually influence humanity,” said Alex Say ’13