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Jackie Lyra
ATLO Test Conductor
Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dreams and realities
This is a job that we love and sometimes we just take it for granted exactly what we're doing. You know, we are building a spacecraft to go to Mars and the hours are long, and sometimes we get very tired. But at the end if you just stop for a few minutes and think about what you are doing, and the contribution to science, you know… you just have to stop for about five minutes and just think about what you're doing and you forget about the long hours. At the end all you remember is that, "Oh my God, you know, I'm actually working on something that's going to land on Mars." And that's why you work on a project like Mars Pathfinder, like I did, and at the end of Mars Pathfinder you're exhausted, and you say, "I'm never going to do this again," and then two years later you're doing it again, and you love it as much as you did for the first time.

Testing hardware relies on people
There's a lot of paperwork to make sure that things work together, but I think the real key is the people. We have a team of people that's very dedicated, that really love the work they do. You know, no matter how much paperwork you have, how many procedures, how many ways of doing things, if you don't have the dedication, if you don't have the people that really love what they do on an everyday basis, you don't have a project that works.

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