We all carry stuff with us wherever we go. Sometimes it’s whatever mood we’re in, sometimes it’s a song we just can’t get out of our heads and sometimes we’re literally carrying something. Lately, especially after everything that happened last year, I find myself carrying around two words in particular: “the past.”

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Over the past 7 years, Mallory Lefland has worked in various capacities at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) — most recently on the MARS 2020 project that recently celebrated the successful landing of the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter on the red planet. The Press recently sat down with Lefland over Zoom to talk about her career, her ambitions and how it felt to be part of NASA’s latest Mars mission.

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