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Elsa Jensen

Elsa Jensen

Working on Mars

Recently Maharishi University of Management was pleased to host a leader of the US unmanned interplanetary space program. At the invitation of Maharishi University of Management President Dr. Bevan Morris, Elsa Jensen used her precious (and rare) vacation time to visit the campus and give two public addresses to the Fairfield community.

A native of Denmark, Ms. Jensen is Mission Operations Manager for Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. The company has developed, built, and is now operating the science camera systems on board NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Elsa has worked on five planetary missions with NASA, including four to Mars and one currently en route to Jupiter.

During her talk with MUM Computer Science graduate students, Ms. Jensen presented an overview of Curiosity’s mission, with special attention to the challenges of large scale software development, and the enormity of undertaking the most complex Mars exploration mission in history. She asked our students to contact her with ideas, and mentioned that she is currently hiring programmers. …

Ms. Jensen spoke enthusiastically of the value of her Transcendental Meditation practice in making it possible to manage huge job demands. She learned TM one week before Curiosity landed on Mars–just in time to handle the flood of work once landing occurred. In particular, she spoke of the benefits of TM for programmers, because TM practice cultures the ability to focus sharply on details while simultaneously maintaining comprehension of the totality of a project.

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