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Photo of Charles Whetsel
   Charles Whetsel

What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?

Teamwork and communication are absolutely essential on large projects with ambitious objectives.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

Trying to figure out what the most important technologies and capabilities to invest in, which will enable the greatest breakthroughs in the scientific exploration of Mars continues to challenge me in my work, especially as each new discovery about the planet changes the way we've historically viewed it.

When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A spacecraft designer - I used to get in trouble in school for finishing my assignments early and doodling pictures of spacecraft on my paper pad.

When did you decide you wanted to be in the space industry and how did you go for it?

I've wanted to be involved in space exploration for as long as I can remember. When I was a sophomore in high school, I began to understand the difference between what scientists and engineers did, and decided to target my high school studies toward getting into a good engineering school.

Do you have any hobbies?

I'm an avid music collector with over 300 CD's of all types of music.

Charles Whetsel:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections