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Photo of Rachel Drummond
   Rachel Drummond

What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?

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If your dream is to be involved in space, then do it! Dont let others convince you that it isnt important or that it is a waste of money. Everyone can contribute to mans next great exploration! There are lots of student organisations that can help you meet other enthusiasts. I am personally involved with SGAC - the Sapce Generation Advisory Council, which organises MoonMars conferences once or twice a year - this year we had a habitat design workshop held at ESTEC. Visit the website

What are your personal goals for the future?

To become more involved with real life mission design, and to try and change the way the European Space Agency runs its outreach to Europeans. We dont have the same enthusiasm for space here as NASA has managed to foster in America

What are your dreams for the future of exploration?

Humans living on mars by 2020

What portion of this mission interests you the most?

The idea that for the first time, humans will live on another celestial body. That Earth will no longer be the only cradle of humanity. And that we will finally be able to say 'There IS life on Mars'

What is the most fascinating thing about your mission?

The way that humans deal with extreme situations. Their flexibility, capacity to adapt and deal with the environment, and the images that will come back of walking in Valles Marineris, or something!

What's the most challenging part of your job?

Being able to cope with the number of facets of a space mission. Its like trying to design a house, car and office, all that will fit into a launch vehicle! Oh, with enough water, food, oxygen etc for a few years...

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

An astronaut

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

At 18, when I found out that universities in the UK offered space science as well as physics - I took the course!

Why do you think Mars Exploration is important?

Becuase it is the solar system body most similar to the earth and offers us the best chance to explore it with real people, not just robots

What excites you about Mars or about space exploration?


Do you work on any other projects at your company?

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Yes, the COROT space mission to detect earth like planets around other stars!

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, swimming, skiing, travelling and mainly - photography

Rachel Drummond:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections