Mark Adler
Mars Exploration Program Architect
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California


My advice to someone who might like to follow my or someone else's path: don't. Follow your own weird path, which is determined by what you think is fun and interesting. That's what will allow you to excel, which in turn will allow you to continue to choose your own path instead of having it chosen for you.

Whose Fault am I?

I can't think of any person who influenced me to pursue my roundabout path, except me. I remember always being interested in the space program, starting around the time of Apollo. I guess what impressed me the most about that was "Hey, those guys are really *doing* something!", where "those guys" were the whole space program. Somehow I understood even then what amazing things humans can do if a whole bunch of them really want to.

Some Personal Stuff

I grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida, living there for my first 18 years. I now live in Pasadena, California with my almost five-year old son Joshua, his mom Diana, and our dog Carl (a 40-kg German Shepherd/Great Dane mix). I like bicycling (touring and commuting to work), piloting small planes, Shotokan Karate, computer programming, electronics tinkering, model rocketry, singing and local amateur theatre (emphasis on amateur). When I'm in Florida to visit, I like to go scuba diving. I bake a killer cheesecake and enjoy cooking vegetarian meals. Someday I'd like to explore space firsthand.

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