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In Memory of Mary Kaye Olsen
Mars Global Surveyor Program Manager
NASA Headquarters, Washington DC

Why I Like My Job

The job required a lot of on-the-job training, extra classes and seminars, but boy, is it worth it!! The best part of my job is working closely with the real experts at JPL and LMA. You can learn so much if you just listen and ask questions. And let's face it, working with the team building the next Mars orbiter is about as neat a job as anyone could imagine!

I spend quite a bit of time on travel, to JPL and other sites for project reviews, or participation in study teams. I also am now the acting resource manager for NASA's Office of Space Science, so I am doing two jobs now, which really keeps me busy!


I'm married to a communications/electrical engineer who works for a consulting company, and we don't have any children. I do have two very spoiled cats, named Bug and Ashburn, and just spent a weekend looking for a horse to buy. I love to go horseback riding, and I've started sailing competitively again this summer (something I did while in college and in the Navy). My husband builds and flies remote-control airplanes. I grew up in upstate New York, but now live in Reston, Virginia; near enough to downtown DC to commute to work every day but far enough in the country that the deer eat my flowers all summer!

I would like to stay with NASA the next several years to see how the "New NASA" shakes out, and see all the new missions on the drawing board actually fly. Once I decide to leave, we will probably move further west in Virginia, so I can have my horse on my own property, and I will probably work for one of the small spacecraft companies in the region.

Back to BIOgraphies Menu Mary Kaye Olsen's Biography    1     2     3