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Art Thompson
ATLO Systems Lead
Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(ATLO: Assembly, Test and Launch Operations.)

A job that leaves you mark on Time...

A good part of this job, what I really like about it, is that at the end of the day or at the end of my career I can look back and say, I did something that affected history. You look back, and you watch the "History Channel" and you see major events of the last century and they show pictures of Pathfinder. That gives you a really good feeling, to know that you were an integral part of making that happen.

Also, one of the things that I found truly amazing, I really appreciated the magnitude of what I was doing on Mars Pathfinder... At the time, my kids - I had a daughter who was seven and my son was ten - and they appreciated the fact that I worked for NASA but really didn't understand the scope of it. Well, just before Mars Pathfinder launched, "Nickelodeon News" did a half-hour special on Mars Pathfinder and my kids saw that and then they came to me and said, "Dad, aren't you working on that?"

Man, that's something special. And to actually see the future generations getting really excited about this, something we're working on, that makes it worthwhile, really worthwhile.

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