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Photo of Fernando Abilleira
   Fernando Abilleira

What advice can you offer to young scientists or engineers?

No dream is too far away. With persistence and determination, everything is possible. Set goals early in your career and work hard to achieve them. Effort always pays off.

What are your personal goals for the future?

Becoming the Mission Design Manager of one of the next Mars missions and someday being able to contribute to sending humans to Mars.

What are your dreams for the future of exploration?

For humans to set foot on Mars and establish a permanent colony on the Red Planet. It would also be fascinating to witness a propulsion technology breakthrough, which would allow for greatly reduced flight times to Mars and other planets in the solar system or even interstellar flight.

What portion of this mission interests you the most?

The trajectory of a mission. That is, finding the most optimum way to fly a spacecraft to Mars.

What is unique about your job?

I feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to the Mars Exploration Program. It is such a gratifying job being able to help expand our knowledge of the Red Planet and the Solar System.

Why do you think Mars Exploration is important?

Mars features some very unique conditions that show that it may have harbored life in its past. Being able to answer the question “Does life exist in the Universe beyond Earth?” would undoubtedly be one of the greatest findings of humankind.

Do you have any hobbies?

Spending time with family and friends is very important to me. I also love sports (basketball, football, soccer), the beach, going to the movies. I truly believe in the well-known Latin proverb "…mens sana in corpore sano," which means "…a healthy mind in a healthy body." I keep myself very active and exercise regularly.

Fernando Abilleira:
  Background Information
  Contributions to Mars Exploration
  Personal Reflections