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To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
ATLO Test Conductor Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Does everything always work right? Of course not, that's why we have jobs here, otherwise we would have no jobs to do! Pretty much our job over here is to test as close to flight (conditions) as possible and try to troubleshoot all the problems we find. It's better to find problems now than find problems when we are flying to Mars or at the surface.
What got me interested in space
It's pretty much, I think, a standard story, but when I was very young I was very interested in math and science. Seeing Man actually landing on the Moon and walking on the Moon was pretty much what moved me toward the area of science. At that point, when I was very young, my own dream was to be an astronaut, and I tried very hard to get close to that. It got to a point in my life, however, where I said, as long as I can participate in space, I'm happy. I really don't have to go and step on the Moon, or go to Mars myself, but part of me, part of my work (i.e. the spacecraft) is going to space and making a contribution. So I think the highlight was really seeing man's first steps on the Moon.
I was born in Brazil, and growing up in Brazil and wanting to be an astronaut was kind of really a far-flung (sic) dream. But I always liked math and science, so I really tried to dedicate (myself to) it and learn as much as I could about science and math. I remember telling people that when I grow up I'm going to be an astronaut, and everybody laughing at me. I worked very hard toward actually being able to come to the United States, and study over here, and to be able to participate in the space program. You have to have a goal, you have to have a dream, and no matter what it is, sometimes it looks impossible to other people, but if you want it, and if you want it hard enough, it sometimes happens.