What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?
Do lots of different things, have lots of interesting friends and acquaintances. You need to get this cross-disciplinary input so that you can have many good ideas. Yes, you must also study math and science. But It’s most important to dream and imagine what could be.
What are your personal goals for the future?
Be involved in technologies that help mankind
What portion of this mission interests you the most?
Traversing long distances of varied terrain
What's the most challenging part of your job?
Addressing so many incompatible problems and finding solutions that fit within the constraints of mission budget and time.
What’s the most extraordinary experience you've had so far on this mission?
Being in Caltech’s Beckman auditorium at the time of landing with many other enthusiastic friends and families who could enjoy the accomplishment together as a huge family.
When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When did you decide you wanted to be in the space industry and how did you go for it?
When I got a job offer! I just walked in and applied for a job. The other offer was with the helicopter industry.
Why do you think Mars Exploration is important?
Is it? I think it’s fun. Scientists say that it’s important. You know all the standard reasons why!
Do you work on any other projects at your company?
Projects that measure the concentration of CO2 and ozone in the atmosphere, and that look for other planets like ours.
Describe the human side of robotic exploration.
Robots can be beautiful. You can endow them with your artistic touch, even though there are technical constraints. They are literally your “brainchildren”.