10 Things to Know This Week: Humans of NASA

Meet some of the amazing humans behind NASA exploring machines.

1. Small Town to Small Satellites

I grew up in a small town where working at NASA was unheard of. I worked hard, persevered, and eventually made it to where I am despite many obstacles along the way. Through that process, never forget to enjoy what you are doing. It is my passion for space exploration that has helped me keep motivated and that brings me happiness every day that I come to work. 
- Farah Alibay, Engineer

2. Scientist. Mountain Unicyclist

I do a rather unusual sport for fun mountain unicycling. I love it because it’s incredibly challenging, requiring strength, stamina and focus. I also enjoy surfing, caving, flying and teaching a space camp in South Korea each summer.
Morgan Cable, Research Scientist

3. Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later.

I do science! No, seriously, I travel and explore for fun. It’s a fascinating world and I can’t get enough of it. But I’m always doing science of some kind no matter where I am. I love it can’t escape it and wouldn’t want to. Eat. Breathe. Do Science. Sleep later.
- Derek Pitts, Solar System Ambassador

4. In the Room Where It Happened

This the summer of 2013, when I was the media rep for the Voyager mission. I was with Ed Stone, the mission’s project scientist, when he came to the conclusion that Voyager 1 had crossed the threshold into interstellar space. For the first time, a human made object flew beyond the plasma bubble our sun blows around itself. Voyager 1 is now bathed in the remnants of the explosions of other stars. I really appreciated seeing the scientific process and Ed’s mind at work.
Jia-Rui Cook, Supervisor of News Events and Projects at JPL

5. All About the Math And Determination

From an academic point of view, it’s all about doing well in math and science. However, there is absolutely no substitute for being determined. Being determined to be successful is at least half the game.
- James Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division

6. Problem Solver

Opportunity rover was designed to live for 90 days in the harsh Martian environment but she is still exploring now 11 years later! Because of her age, software and hardware components are degrading on the vehicle and more recently, the flash memory. I had the incredible opportunity to lead the team to figure out how to solve these flash problems and get Opportunity back into an operational state.
- Bekah Sosland Siegfriedt, Engineer

7. Never Give Up

When you encounter difficulties or failures, do not take no for an answer. If you truly want to accomplish something and are passionate about it, you need to believe in yourself, put your mind to it, and you can accomplish anything! I failed A LOT, but I NEVER GAVE UP. It took three years and over 150 applications to NASA before I received my first internship
- Kevin DeBruin, Systems Engineer

8. More Than Mohawk Guy

The great thing about being at NASA is that there are jobs for all types whether it’s engineering, science, finance, communication, law, and so forth. All of them are necessary and all of them involve working on some of the coolest things humans can do. So pick the area you love, but also know that you can still be a part of exploring the universe.
- Bobak Ferdowsi, Systems Engineer

9. The Power of One

When my older sister claimed she would one day be an astronaut on the heels of Sally Ride’s launch into space, I made the same claim. Though, it was more because I dreamed to be just like my sister! In turned out that she outgrew the crazy dream and my desire only got stronger.
- Mamta Patel Nagaraja, Science Communications

10. Dedication and Choices

Body-building is a favorite pasttime, it’s a great stress reliever and a hobby that I can take with me when I travel for work or for pleasure. It’s also a great expression of responsibility and ownership: What I’ve accomplished is due entirely to my dedication and choices, and it belongs to no one but me.
Troy Hudson, Instrument System Engineer

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