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   Mark Wilkinson

What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?

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To young scientists and engineers, you need to always remember that engineers work in teams. Empire builders and glory hounds never have success in this profession. Also, you'll retire from your profession. You'll never retire from your family. Put them first.

What are your personal goals for the future?

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My goal for the present and the future is to help children understand why we explore space, and to share my excitement with them. They can decide for themselves if it is something they want for their future.

What are your dreams for the future of exploration?

For the future of space exploration, I am hopeful the United States will build a cislunar infrastructure to benefit all nations aspiring to space exporation, in a manner similar to the way America provides GPS navigation to all the world.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

More than anything, the most challenging part of my job is not the spacecraft, but the people. Working in a team of intelligent and dedicated engineers is not easy. It takes a lot of interpersonal skill. While we share the same end-goal, our vision of how to get there is always different.

Why do you think Mars Exploration is important?

I think exploration is critically important to the social well-being of humanity, whether it is Mars or the bottom of the ocean. As we explore, we expand our minds with an understanding of the universe.

Do you have any hobbies?

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I have lots of hobbies. They include SCUBA diving, model rocketry, writing (fiction and non-fiction), role-playing games, and lots of other stuff. I also volunteer my time with a search and rescue team.

Mark Wilkinson:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections