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.

Stony Brook University’s Psychiatric Epidemiology Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science received two grants from NASA seeking to investigate “asynchronous communication methods for developing behavioral health treatment during long duration space missions,” meaning that they’re trying to…