I was 8 years old, it was April 12, 1981, and I watched as the first space shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center. I knew at that moment I wanted to work on Shuttle.
I never looked back. Everything I did growing up was to fulfill that dream. In 1990, I moved from Philly to Florida to go to college. And in 1996, that dream came true. I started working on the space shuttle as an Electrical Engineer.
For fifteen years, I worked on Shuttle as an Orbital Electrical Engineer, then a Fuel Cell Engineer, and ending my career as the Vehicle Engineer for Endeavour. In those fifteen years, I worked (either directly or indirectly) on fifty-four Shuttle missions, including STS-107, Columbia.
One of the most fulfilling experiences in my life was working the Columbia recovery in Texas. I worked with amazing firefighters from Wyoming, Los Angeles, and New Mexico for twenty-five days in order to bring Columbia home. I made friends that I will have for a lifetime. The only thing I would ever trade that experience for would be the crew.
Exploration is something that humans thrive on. Space exploration is something that I hope to be a part of for my entire career. I am blessed to be working on the unmanned NASA program as a Project Engineer supporting our NASA Vehicle Systems Engineers. We support the Launch Services Program launching NASA scientific missions to asteroids, Mars, and deep space.
Space exploration is in my veins. I will always be part of the space program, whether as an employee or a supporter.
Felicia Vreeland says
I am assuming you went to FIT. My daughter is following in your path as an EE with Lockheed on Orion. It is only vicariously but I love watching you young people continuing what our generation started.
Yes, Kim Guodace earned her B.S. at Florida Institute of Technology. You and your daughter should share a memory–or a dream–of the Space Age here too. There’s a pinned post with the submission form at the top of the page: http://generationspace.com/i-am-gen-space/.
engineer firm says
This is interesting! How was it working as a shuttle engineer? This is what I dreamt of when I was a kid – you know, space exploration and stuffs. I still am in the engineering industry but not in the same way you do. Thanks for sharing man!