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Scale of the Solar System: The Journey Begins
Solar System Explorers

Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson
Investigation Scientist and Geologist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"When I was growing up, I would really say that I was the Bart Simpson of the 1970s. I was pretty lazy and I really liked to have fun. I wasn't the best student. However, now, if someone comes up to me at JPL and asks me to deliver something, that person doesn't have to ask me twice. I deliver whatever is needed. My work ethic has always covered me. Even if you are like me and maybe not the best student, you will find that intelligence will take you a long way, but a strong work ethic will take you a lot farther."

Robert Pappalardo
Robert Pappalardo
Senior Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"The most exciting moments are the 'aha moments' when a scientific problem that you've been wrestling with suddenly falls into place and begins to make sense. These moments tend to come from a mix of hard work, intuition and perseverance. I have been fortunate to have had several such moments in my career, especially when talking through a problem with a colleague -- attacking a problem together from different perspectives and backgrounds can give rise to those key insights that one person wouldn't have thought of alone."

Steven Vance
Steven Vance
Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"Planetary scientists try to understand the planets, their formation, their place in the solar system and their similarity to planets around other stars. In our line of work, Earth is another planet, the one we know best. Astrobiologists apply the same approach to understand life, its origin and its prevalence in the rest of the Universe."

Candice Hansen
Candice Hansen
Planetary Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"Ever since I was a pre-teen I loved reading science fiction. I still do. When I attended California State University Fullerton, my favorite professor was involved with the Apollo program. She encouraged me to go to the University of Arizona in Tucson for graduate school. My advisor was Brad Smith, the leader of the Voyager Imaging team. I talked him into sending me to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to work for the summer, and I've been here ever since.

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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014