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Miguel San Martin
Lead Software Designer
Mars Exploration Rovers mission
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

P2K: Your interest in Mars goes back a pretty long way. How did you get started in the space business?

Miguel San Martin: Well, I kind of grew up during the time that, a little late in the time where the space program of the United States was in full (flower). I followed the Apollo project pretty closely, and then the Viking missions, actually, I followed also very closely.

Since I grew up I have always had an interest in space, like most of my colleagues here. I mean, it's this pretty constant thing that you will find here, that it started very early.

P2K: You weren't in the United States when you started getting interested in Mars. Tell us where you came from and what you knew about Mars down in your home country.

Miguel San Martin: I grew up in Argentina and... I actually remember seeing these rockets take off and asking my father where we could see one of these take off. And when he told me, well, they're not happening in our country, I was a little bit disappointed. I mean, I was that young when I took notice of this. I didn't realize that the "U.S.A. label" meant another country. But you know that's how it started. I kept following it. I was also interested on the manned side, but the unmanned side also had tremendous fascination for me.

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