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To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers

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

P2K: Looking back on Pathfinder, what was the peak moment for you? What made you say, that's it, that's why I'm in this business?

Miguel San Martin: Well, there were many. There were many. Of course, the EDL landing was the absolute peak. I was in the control room and it was a magical moment. I mean, it was sheer panic and then at the same time tremendous happiness when everything worked. Another moment, perhaps, that people have not noticed as much was the first time that we got the first communication from the high-gain antenna, which requires some software, some tricks thatů we didn't know that it was going to work that well, and it did, and when we got that large signal from Mars and then that enabled to get all the pictures, that was also a lot of fun to see that work after we tested and rehearsed it so much, the whole team. So those are the two most fun that I remember, but I mean I just enjoyed just going to the test bed and just being part of the team. That was always a lot of fun.

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