As a child, I had an interest in planets and space, always loving math and science. I grew up tinkering with broken items around the house, trying to figure out how to repair them. Little did I know that I would turn my childhood interests into a career at NASA and more specifically, get to work on the Orion spacecraft that will take astronauts up into space.
My job as a NASA Langley Research Center Orion configuration manager gives me the ability to see everything put together and tested for Orion and l love every minute of it. My main role for the Orion team is to assist the project managers to ensure we follow specific guidelines to build each necessary section of Orion. So for example, I make sure that the documents and artifacts used to build each section and part are collected and stored and all changes or deviations from the original plan are captured.
The best part about it is that I get to watch an idea turn into reality. One of my favorite tests was when we dropped the Orion spacecraft test article into our Hydro Impact Basin. This article shows the video of the test: www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/mpcv-splashtest-jul...
One of my most proud moments was walking through the gate for the first time as a NASA employee. It was an amazing feeling to end up working at a place I only dreamed of, but never thought of it becoming reality. It makes you think that dreams really can come true.
Because of my passion for my job, I jump at the chance to volunteer at every Orion outreach activity I can. It’s so important to me to inform the public that yes, NASA is still planning on sending humans to space. Sharing about NASA and the Orion spacecraft not only inspires me, but also families, the public and most crucially, our next generation workforce.
My advice to young people: Follow your passion—figure out what you love to do, get involved, and most importantly, ask questions.