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Jennifer Harris Trosper
Project Systems Engineer
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

No, that's not Jennifer Trosper speaking, but U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Those are, however, words she lives by, and a quotation she keeps over her desk at JPL. Persistence and determination are, indeed, very much what she needs in her very important job. As Mars Exploration Rovers Project System Engineer, Jennifer is responsible for making sure everything, and every one, comes together to maximize the chances of mission success. She has to know a lot about hardware, software, and also, human relations. Getting the right people to speak with each other at just the right time is all-important. Interpersonal communication is definitely part of "rocket science." Here's how she described herself and her job online, for one of NASA's outreach projects:

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