Rapidly training early career hires through JPL project experiences
Phaeton is a selective, rapid training program for early career hires (ECHs) interested in broad flight systems experience at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Phaeton's small project environment provides system-level, cross-phase and cross-discipline exposure, vital perspectives for any role on JPL projects. Participants will spend up to 18 months in the program and 50 to 100 percent of their time each week supporting Phaeton.
What's the connection to Greek mythology?
In Greek mythology, Phaeton is the son of the sun-god Helios who is also identified as Apollo. Upon learning his father's identity, Phaeton asks for one wish. When granted, he elects to ride his father's fiery chariot across the sky. He loses control of the chariot, and Zeus intervenes by destroying it to prevent terrestrial climactic catastrophe.
The earliest known version of the story suggests that Phaeton survives, presumably the wiser for his experience. The flight of Phaeton was a learning experience and showed why proper training is required before one can take the reins of responsibility for a task of such magnitude. The Phaeton program is created to provide JPL new hires an environment where they can gain rapid hands-on experience through proper training and mentoring.