Mark Adler was the Mars Exploration Program Architect at JPL from 1996 through 1998. He was responsible for laying out the series of Mars exploration missions from 2001 on, for leading the pre-project studies of Mars Sample Return, and for inter-project engineering issues for missions in flight and in development at the time. In 1999, Mark was the Mission and Systems Manager and Chief Engineer for the Mars Sample Return project, which was to launch three missions in 2003 and 2005 to bring Martian samples back to Earth in 2008. The project was canceled after the failure of Mars Polar Landing.
Mark initiated and led a three and a half week study on the MER concept that was later selected as the Mars Exploration Program mission for 2003. On the MER project, Mark was the Deptuy Mission System Manager, the Acting Project Engineer, the Deputy Assembly, Test and Launch Operations Manager, the Landing Site Selection Engineer and the Spirit Mission Manager.
Mark received his bachelors in Mathematics from the University of Florida, his masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida, and his PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology.