Out of this World
Out of This World will showcase the work of women who are, well, out of this world. Join us to learn what it's like to work in aerospace, space transportation, and space policy from experts at NASA, Harvard, the United States Air Force, and SpaceX!
Hello and thanks for joining us on Cloudflare TV. My name is Amada Echeverria and I'm on the field marketing and events team here at Cloudflare and I'll be the moderator for today's discussion.
I'm here with an amazing group of panelists who as you will see are out of this world.
We'll be talking about what it's like to work in aerospace, space transportation and space policy, musings from the field, calls to action and much more.
So Rosa, Jazmin, Alexis and Alissa, thank you all so much for joining us on Cloudflare TV.
And before we dive in further, a quick note for our viewers, we hope you will join us by sending us your comments or questions by emailing us at livestudio at Cloudflare .tv and you can find the banner right below this video.
So welcome panel, let's start off with quick introductions. Please tell us your name, where you work, your current role and any other relevant organizations you're affiliated with that you'd like to chat about.
So Rosa, let's start with you.
Yes, first and foremost, thank you so much for the invitation today.
I hope that everyone that we're reaching today are staying safe and healthy with your families.
My name is Rosa Avalos-Warren and I am a human spaceflight mission manager for NASA Goddard and I have the, you know, the amazing job of actually being able to work with different missions from the International Space Station Commercial Crew Program and also the Artemis Program.
And I've been lucky to have worked in the past with NASA Johnson Space Center, as well as NASA Langley Research Center.
Great, thank you for sharing. And Jazmin. Hello everyone.
Thank you for everyone tuning in. I hope you enjoyed the panel. I know we're all very excited.
I'm very excited to be here this morning. So my name is Jazmin Furtado.
I am a captain in the United States Space Force. Currently, I'm a fellow at SpaceX.
So my focus is on software and data and how to leverage those and build upon those to incorporate analytics and artificial intelligence in our digital systems.
So basically, I'm trying to answer the question, how do we make our computers smarter?
With any digital system, there is a level of human to machine interaction.
So how do we make that interaction more seamless and take the burden off of the human and have the machine take on some of that heavy lifting so that human can focus on more important things.
So that's what I'm focused on in the Air Force.
I'm a program manager with a focus in data science, and I have a data science background.
So that's me. Fantastic. And Alessna. Hi, everybody. And thank you, Amada, for inviting me.
I'm very happy to be here. My name is Alissa Gihannadagy.
I teach space law policy and ethics at Harvard University, and I am working on developing a network to do more transdisciplinary work between Harvard and MIT to connect the social sciences of space with the natural sciences of space.
Thank you. And Alexis. Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me on today. My name is Alexis.
And like Jasmine, I am a captain in the Space Force, and I'm also working at SpaceX as part of a special program called Education with Industry.
Here at SpaceX, I focus on government mission management.
So I'm an engineer by trade.
That's my job in the Space Force. But while I'm at SpaceX, I've been focusing on working on the programs to get the government satellites into space.
Clearly, we have an incredible group. Thank you all so much for being here.
And let's dive into our conversation with our first question. So we want to start off with a two-part icebreaker.
Number one, do you know how to do the moonwalk?
And number two, have you ever tried on an astronaut outfit, which I've been told is properly called spacesuit?
So Jasmine, let's start with you. This is like the most interesting icebreaker question.
No, I can't do the moonwalk. I have tried ever since I was young because I thought it was so cool seeing Michael Jackson do it.
I fail. I'm not coordinated enough to do the moonwalk. But the closest thing I've worn to a spacesuit is a flight suit, which is the equivalent for if you're flying in a plane versus like a spacecraft.
So that's the closest thing I've gotten to a spacesuit.
I imagine those helmets would be really heavy, though.
I haven't worn a spacesuit, no. Okay, Alyssa. Yes, the moonwalk. I can do it.
I will give you a tip. It's all about the floor. So if you find a good floor, you can do the walk.
No problem. And no, I have not tried a spacesuit. Looks very heavy.
And I heard that it can be smelly. So I'm staying away from them. Okay, Alexis.
Yeah, me as well. I can do the moonwalk. Being an engineer, I have two left feet.
So I just kind of trip over myself. But it's always fun to watch other people do it.
And the same thing with the spacesuit. I've also worn a flight suit before.
But I'd like to argue that now that I'm in the Space Force, you know, any flight suit in the Space Force would be kind of like a spacesuit.
Not as cool as the ones, you know, worn by our astronauts, but on the way there.
And Alexis, I mean, sorry, Rosa.
I haven't tried the moonwalk yet, but I'll make sure to put it in my to do list and try it out with my 21 month old.
I have participated in outreach events in the past, and I've had the opportunity to try on the helmet and also the gloves.
All right. Great. So what problem? Let's get a little bit more serious.
What problem are you solving in your role? And so that'd be great if you could dive a little bit deeper into what you do.
And also, what made you go into this type of work?
This is something that you plan for. So, Alyssa, let's start with you.
Yeah, my area of research is planetary defense. So what do you do if an asteroid comes and hits the Earth?
And so I'm the coordinator of a group of international lawyers who work together to solve legal questions regarding planetary defense so that if there is a mission to be done, there is no legal hurdles along the way.
And that connects to what I do at Harvard, which is to work on transdisciplinarity.
So how can the social sciences support the natural sciences within the space sector and do more transdisciplinary work with my colleagues?
And Alexis? Awesome. Yeah. For me, at SpaceX right now, I'm working in government mission management for, like I said, getting those government satellites into space.
And what that looks like is we see the whole process from start to finish.
So we're the launch vehicle here at SpaceX, and then you have the space vehicle provider.
So a satellite will come to us, say, hey, we're trying to get this into space.
So we work, like I said, from the beginning to the end, doing all the, not myself personally, but working with the engineers who do all the analysis to make sure that it's safe, it's going to integrate into our launch vehicle, and that it will get to where it needs to go.
And I also work with any problems that come up along the way, and just like solving through all those problems.
I think there's a second part to the question too, and was it how we got into this field?
Yeah. What made you go into this type of work? Yeah. For me, I think just like space is so exciting.
I started my career, you know, in the Air Force, working on planes, but I always had this desire to work in the space world.
And now that I'm here, I'm more excited than ever.
I'm just really excited to come to work every day.
All right. Thank you. And Rosa? Yes. So as a human spaceflight mission manager, I make sure that the New York Space Network provides robust communication services to human spaceflight missions.
And so we are synthesizing the different services of NASA's network to support missions, such as vehicles, cargo vehicles to the International Space Station, the different SpaceX missions of Demo-2, Crew-1, and Crew-2 as part of the Commercial Crew Program, and also the upcoming Artemis Program missions.
So in my role, I work closely with the Space Force Search and Rescue Office, the Flight Dynamics Facility, and also Johnson Space Center.
And what inspired me to pursue aerospace engineering specifically was after watching the return of the Columbia mission.
Thank you. And Jasmine? So my focus is in data and data analytics and how do we enable systems to be able to leverage data.
When you think of space, there's a lot of information that we get from satellites.
There's a lot of stuff to go through and try to derive.
Deriving insights from all this data is very difficult for humans.
So I'm in the area of trying to make it easier to sift through all this data, get insights from the data, and use that information to make better decisions and more informed decisions than if someone were to just try to do it all in their head.
So that's the overall problem I'm trying to solve is how do we get better insight from our data, from our space assets.
And in terms of what made me go into this type of work, I have always been interested in space.
I really love Star Trek.
Star Trek is a really important piece of my childhood and into my high school years.
And I watched the whole series of Voyager at least twice at this point.
So I really love Star Trek. It's really inspiring. So when I had the opportunity to join the Space Force, I jumped on it partly because of that.
But there's also this fact that space has a lot of data and there's a lot of opportunity there.
So I've been really excited to join the field, and it's been great so far.
All right. Thank you. So what are some role models or mentors that you look up to in this space?
No pun intended. Rosa. Yes. So for me, as far as role models, I would say internally in terms of family members, my parents and brothers really have really pushed me to be the best version of myself and have always emphasized equality.
And so growing up with two brothers, they were always very supportive and never saying that I couldn't do something just because I was female.
And so this stayed with me throughout my whole life from childhood to adulthood.
And as far as mentors, I have a long list of mentors in the educational field as well as professional ones.
And so they've always been inspiring me to become who I am today as well.
All right. Great. And Alyssa, what about you? In terms of mentors, I would think of Pascale Ehrenfrod.
She was the head of DLR, the German space agency, and she's currently now the new president of the International Space University and also the head of the International Astronautical Federation.
And when you hear this, you would think that she's an incredibly intimidating woman that you would never be able to talk to when she's actually the nicest, kindest, funniest person who comes into a room and is just a piece of sunshine.
So it was kind of a shock to me when I met her for the first time, just thinking you can be higher up, you can make a lot of decisions, you can have tons of responsibility and just be a really nice human.
So that's the kind of goal that I'm trying, stay a good human.
And Dr. Scott Pace, also a wonderful mentor. So if you have any questions about good, good mentors, I have a list and I'm sure the other panelists have too.
It's quite important. All right. Great to hear. Alexis.
Awesome. Yeah. Like the other ladies, I do have a long list of mentors as well.
I think it did start from childhood with my family, you know, really encouraging me to develop those skills that like weren't really necessarily like specific to young little girls.
You know, I had very engineering intuition from the get-go and they just like really fostered that and allowed me to grow into that.
And I think once I started my professional career, I had a lot of mentors really just take me under their wing.
You know, there's not a whole lot of women in engineering, but yet they brought me in as part of the fold and like didn't like treat me any differently.
So I'm really grateful to all the mentors who just, you know, brought me along the way and taught me what it was like to be a good engineer and really focus on the people aspect of it and, you know, trying to be a good person, a good leader along the way.
And Jocelyn. Yeah, for myself, role model-wise growing up definitely had a lot of good support structure.
I've been very lucky to have a very supportive family and giving, providing me with examples of like how to stand up for myself.
And it's also okay to like stick your neck out there and try new things because no matter what, I know I'll have this like support structure, like lean back on.
So I've been very lucky there. In terms of like professional career, I found a lot of mentors in my military colleagues and military members that I'm reporting to as well.
They've taught me a lot around about resilience and grit and perseverance, which I think has been really valuable for my professional and personal development.
All right. Thank you all for sharing. So let's pivot a little into talking about your field.
What are some common misconceptions people have about working in your field and what can you share with the audience to set the record straight?
So Jasmine, let's start with you. Yes, this one. Everyone that I talk to always thinks that like I'm an astronaut or I'm a pilot or I'm like driving the vehicle or the spacecraft or something.
And they say that you're in like this field at all, in the aerospace field or space field.
And I would say that's the number, the percentage of people in this field that are actually like in the vehicle is very small.
And that you're more likely to be in a more supportive role because, you know, I would say upwards of 80% of the people that are in this field are needed in these support roles to get things up into space, to be able to look at that information and do the next steps.
Like what next?
Great. We are in space and we are able to do X, Y, Z. You're able to gather this much information.
What next? How do we do this stuff better? And it takes a lot of minds to be able to do that.
And Alessa? I would say that the biggest misconception is usually that people do not know that my field of work exists.
Space law exists, space policy exists. And in general, the social sciences of space are not really well known.
And it makes sense because the anchorage of any space research is the natural sciences, the space engineering and the space sciences.
But if you're interested in law, psychology, art, anything social science, humanities related, you do have people working in the field.
You have people doing space archaeology. I mean, it's a canvas. You need to imagine space as a canvas where all disciplines can come together and can also do their own research.
So, yeah, we exist. Great.
I'll let everyone know. So, Alexis? Sure. I think for me in the engineering field, I think a lot of people think that we do a majority of hands on stuff.
But I think a lot of what we do is computer driven.
We're on the computer. We're designing things, working things out.
We do get an opportunity to go and work hands on sometimes too.
But a lot of times people come up to me and they ask me if I could fix their microwave.
And I'm like, no, I can't fix your microwave. I can design you a new microwave, probably.
But, you know, we don't really fix the things we build.
We just build them and then make them better next time. Yes, definitely share the same feelings as the previous responses.
And, you know, in the aerospace industry, we just we need more than engineers, right?
There is a misconception that you must be in must be STEM oriented to thrive within NASA.
And that's not right.
We need everyone, people that, you know, have degrees in finance, law, policy, communications, graphics, education specialists are so necessary, administrative and more.
Great. So let's pivot a little.
What is the biggest challenge in your field at the moment?
Alyssa, let's start with you. The biggest challenge in my field right now? Well, I would say that all the disciplines are relatively siloed.
So if you speak with space lawyers, first you I mean, there are so many other misconceptions that I could have talked about in the previous question.
But you think with space lawyers, that some of them are in firms, they work as lawyers, and then they have contracts and they work on space related topics.
And one of the things that is the most helpful is when we get together at conferences at UN, COPRIOS meetings, United Nations Office of Aerospace Affairs organize a committee every year.
And so we meet there. And so the de-silo of everything, that's what I think is our biggest challenge, because we're so used to working in our own discipline, in our own building, in our own organization.
In a university, that happens when schools are very, very separate from one another.
At work, it happens also when people are in different floors.
So to be able to be all at the same level and all talk with each other, share, and be able to just solve problems faster, just because our lines of communications are clearer, that's I think that's our main challenge right now.
And we're working on it. All right. And Alexis.
Sure. I think for me, the biggest problem is just it's a technical problem. You know, we haven't gone to space.
Well, we've been going to space for a long time, but this is kind of the new wave of space.
And so we're doing a lot of new things that we've never done before.
And so, you know, all we know is what we know so far. And we don't know what you don't know until you know, you know.
Uh, so yeah, my first thought is to go to that technical problem.
I really like what Alyssa said as well, because it's not just the technical problem, because if we can't get all these different nodes to work together and like break off from their individual silos, you know, it'd be really hard to like bring together this big full picture problem.
I do think it's important for all of us to start working together and really just break down those barriers, not just focus on the engineering or your individual bubble, but like, you know, bring in the other bubbles as well.
Okay. And Rosa? Kind of similar as Alexis, you know, the biggest and most amazing challenge about working in the aerospace industry is that we're constantly trying to discover the unknown, right?
Trying to push the boundaries of human exploration, you know, always trying to create new and innovative missions that have never been done in the past.
And so my work in human space flight encompasses missions like the Artemis program.
And so in this, within this program, we'll place the first woman and the next man on the moon.
And so, and by doing that, we're also trying to make sure that we're creating a sustainable presence there with the other programs such as gateway and human landing system.
That's the biggest challenge. So we touched upon technological challenges, definitely like siloed, how we need to improve communication.
And I think those are all really big challenges.
So in terms of other challenges, I'm also a part, I'm a, I'm a program manager in the Air Force.
So I do have this, I straddle these two areas of program management and analytics.
So from the program management side, I mean, we haven't, when you think of all the things that the aerospace industry has delivered, we've delivered so many aircraft, we haven't done the same or the equivalent when it comes to like rockets.
And it's definitely in terms of like frequency of output, we're also more in like the earlier stages when it comes to space.
So I'd say that one of the challenges is getting things out into space, assets out into space faster than, than tradition, what it's been traditionally in the past.
I think that's one of the biggest challenges because it's not only just technologically getting space into a spacecraft out there, but it's also, there's a whole business and support aspect that needs to catch up and meet the speed that we can technically build things.
And that's not something that I think is as well developed.
And we need to continue to work on that so that we can, so we can start getting things out there a lot faster.
Okay. And what do you all envision the future of space will look like?
And Jasmine, we can stick with you. Future of space.
Well, I'm, I think it's very promising. First off, or else I wouldn't be in this field.
I think there's a lot of really brilliant minds that are joining the field, as you can see by this lovely panel here.
We have the best people in the world working on these problems and they're the hardest problems in the world and out of the world to be solving.
So I'm very hopeful that this generation is going to be able to do a lot.
Let's see. I think it's going to be more diverse in terms of people, perspectives, thought processes.
I think it's going to be going a lot faster. We're going to have to respond to things a lot quicker.
There's going to be a lot more automation.
We're going to be able to do more with less. And I think overall, just like the more innovative space, just generally.
So very excited. All right. And Melissa.
Well, in my background, this is earth and that's, it's my response. I think that in the future we will focus a lot on earth observation.
You have a more and more private space sector companies who work on earth observation.
And one of the main criticism that space programs get is, oh, you're doing this for Mars.
You're doing this for whatever is for the moon.
And what about people? What about humans? What about the earth?
And considering climate change and all the challenges that earth has, it's important to remember the amount of technology that was developed for space, but that could be turned around and focused on earth again.
So I think that's where we're going.
And I'm hoping in terms of my hopes for the future, diversity is absolutely important.
We hear a lot about gender diversity, about disciplinary diversity, but, and age, I would really like to see more economic diversity because same thing, if you turn things towards the earth, or if you open the opportunities for people to go to space, just make sure that it's not like a billionaire's game.
So yeah, more economic diversity. I'm hoping for that. Okay. And Alexis.
Oh my gosh, such fun and exciting answers. I think that's the coolest part about space is it's inspiring.
I think for me personally, my thoughts are about like being interplanetary, you know, like people living on other planets and, you know, you're here in America and you have your US passport.
You also have like a terrestrial passport of being, you know, you're from earth and then you could like travel to a different planet and, you know, you could like visit them.
I know there's a lot of like, you know, a lot of steps before we get there, but it reminded me of the movie.
What's it called? I just forgot about the name of the movie, but there was a movie.
Yeah. And it was interplanetary. I thought it was really fun, but yeah, space is so fun and exciting and inspiring.
Great. And Rosa. Yes.
Definitely great answers. I see the future of space in terms of, you know, we're going to be continuing to do research, right?
There are different outcomes that are coming from the international space station and both from an investigation perspective and also the technology, the capabilities.
And so, I mean, we're seeing how much, you know, from the robotic arm that attaches the spacecraft to the space station, it births to the space station, how much that has helped in brain surgery, how much research is being done, you know, on cancer osteoporosis currently on ISS and, you know, how much more, you know, can we see in the future by going to the moon and also all the technologies that are going to be developed when we eventually, you know, go into the journey to Mars.
Okay. Thank you.
All right. Thank you all so much and enough industry talk. Let's get personal again.
So, what has helped you to get to where you are today and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
So, Alyssa. Work.
Work. Work hard. Work a lot. Work. I'll say that it's really important and in our field, you hear a lot of people tell you network, network.
You need to connect with people on LinkedIn.
You need to shake hands. You need to smile. And if you haven't done the prior work before shaking those hands, it's not going to really help you.
So, if you're passionate about a field, I will tell you what I tell my students who are graduate students and when you have to prepare for a PhD, you need to find a place in knowledge that there is a hole and you're going to fill that little space that needs to be filled.
And so, find this thing, that thing that maybe hasn't been researched yet or that angle that hasn't been explored yet.
Go explore it.
Work on it and ask yourself questions. And based on those questions, go search people who have asked similar questions and have proposed different answers and then reach out to those.
So, don't network for network. Just network based on the work that you've done before and to try to find solutions to problems.
Great. And Alexis? Sure. I think for me, my advice would be to dream big and also to work hard.
I mean, it's important to work hard, but if you aren't like enjoying what you're doing and if you're not chasing what you want to be doing, it's going to be miserable.
So, it's easy to work hard when, you have these big dreams and big aspirations that you're chasing.
I like also what Alyssa said about networking, not just networking for the sake of networking, but genuinely trying to make good connections with people and just being collaborative, being a good team player.
And really at the end of the day, I mean, the human connection is everything.
So, work hard, dream big, and connect with people. And Rosa? Yes. And answering the first part of your question, for me, it's taken a lot of dedication, perseverance, and for me specifically, faith, right?
And for me, it has helped me get to where I am today.
The journey was not easy, but just like any missions, there are a lot of lessons learned that have formed me into the person that I am today.
And so, for anyone, my tips would be, I recommend that you never limit yourself in terms of your capabilities and always follow your aspirations.
Okay. Great. And Jasmine? These responses are so inspirational. In terms of what's helped me get to where I am today, I would say one of the phrases that has stuck with me throughout my career has been, try to be comfortable being uncomfortable and always be striving to put yourselves in situations where you may feel a little bit out of your element, or you may feel like you need to, that, you know, oh, this is all over my head.
When you're putting yourself in these sorts of like uncomfortable situations where you feel like you have a lot to learn or you have a lot to prove, those are the situations where you find that you grow the most.
At least that's what I've seen. Of course, you don't want to put yourself in situations that are dangerous.
So, it's, of course, understanding what is an appropriate uncomfortable situation to be put in and what is not appropriate to be put, what sort of situation is not appropriate to be put in.
But once you determine, the things I'm talking about is more like professional development.
There's a lot of times where people feel like they have like imposter syndrome and they feel like they can't contribute to a conversation.
But I've learned that every person has a unique perspective that they can bring to the table.
And even though you may not have a PhD in something that another person has, you have your own unique experiences that makes your perspective just as valuable.
And I think owning that and owning your worth and like really internalizing your worth gives you a lot more confidence in situations where you may feel a little bit out of your element.
And I would say, strive to look for those positions because that's, you want to always have this continuous growth, continuous development sort of mentality.
In terms of what advice I have for other people, yes, I would have, I would give that same advice and look for, try to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
But also I would say to lift other people up. When you're in these roles, when you're in any role, you're in a position to work with others, to better others on your team.
And so I think it's on everyone to create an environment where people like you and people not like you can feel comfortable contributing.
I think that's really powerful for anyone, especially in a not new field, but in a growing field that is space.
We need to create environments where people feel like they're heard and it's on every one of us to contribute to that.
So I would say, be cognizant of how other people on your team or the people that you look up to create those spaces and try to emulate those same characteristics yourself.
All right, great.
And what is the question that you are most tired of hearing related to your work or to your field?
And what would you like to say about this that you would never like to have to say again and set the record straight, Alexis?
Hmm, I think for me, the thing I'm most tired about hearing is asking if anyone working in space is an astronaut or if you're, you know, in the Air Force, if you're a pilot.
The astronauts in the President do have a really important job, but you know, there's room for everyone.
You don't just have to have a STEM degree or you don't just have to be an astronaut.
Like we're, it takes so many people to make these missions happen.
And I would love for everyone to know that like there's a place for them in space, whatever like they enjoy doing, whatever they want to do, there's a place for them.
And I, yeah, that would probably be. All right, great. And Rosa?
Yes, for me is, I usually encourage questions mainly because I do a lot of educational outreach, right?
And one thing that we'd like people to know more about is that there are extensive networking assets on the ground and in space that allow us information from spacecraft to reach scientists here on earth.
So it doesn't magically, you know, get to earth. And Jasmine? So I kind of have, there's kind of two questions or yeah, two things that I would want to set the record straight on.
One, just because you have, you're in a field that has to do with like a computer or some sort of like digital system doesn't mean that you can fix a computer whenever something's broken.
Whenever something's like wrong with the computer, I cannot fix it.
I can like code stuff and I can like put some algorithms together, but that's not necessarily going to like fix your wifi.
I was having wifi problems before this call and I was like, well, I'm useless in this situation.
The other thing is that there is a difference between the space force, the United States space force and SpaceX.
One is a private company, SpaceX is a private company sending and launching rockets and spacecraft into space.
And space force is the newest service branch of the department of defense, the space service branch of the department of defense.
So that is what I'd like to set the record straight on.
All right. You heard it folks. And Alyssa? Well, to bounce off what Jasmine was saying, one thing that comes most often is, so what do you think of SpaceX?
Always constantly, because there are those kinds of narratives that tell you that it's a rogue agent.
It's this magical company that acts as if they were cowboys and they do things in space and there are no laws.
And that's not true.
Obviously, SpaceX has a legal team and they're doing great work. And when you send something in space, you do need a license and the state is there to make sure that everything is working fine.
So this idea of the rogue agent is very popular, but not very realistic.
I thank you all. I hope everyone is more educated now and knows the truth.
Thanks for busting those myths. And what tips do you have for people joining an organization like yours without an aerospace or engineering background?
And we've touched on the fact that this is possible. So Rosa, let's start with you.
Yes. So you don't need an aerospace or engineering degree.
So one of the things that it touches on my previous response that we need everyone.
And so follow your passion. And if you want to work for NASA, please check out USAJOBS.
And if you're a student, please check out the NASA internship page.
We have opportunities in a variety of areas from engineering, management, administration, communications, and more.
Okay. And Jasmine.
Yeah. So I would say that for people looking to join just like this area of space, you definitely don't need an aerospace or engineering background.
It takes a whole team to get something out there.
Even a technical product, it takes a whole team to get something out into production and get it delivered.
Of course, you have the people designing the work, and that may require you to be a little more technical.
But when you are thinking about the business management of that project, the finances of that project, you think of the ethics behind that project.
There's a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration. If the whole world was run by engineers, I think we'd be living in a very different place.
So we need all those perspectives in order to get the right products out. And you can't get all those perspectives unless you have people with different backgrounds.
So yes, definitely we need everyone in this space field. And Alyssa. I agree with what was just said.
Obviously, as a social scientist, I will tell you that you can be a social scientist and work in the space industry.
However, I would like to point out that if you see disciplines as languages, it is always very helpful when you want to do transdisciplinary work to gain some knowledge about those languages ahead of time.
So when I knew that I wanted to work on space policy and looking at how space debris re-enter the Earth, obviously, you can look at the policies, you can look at the laws, but it's important to understand how a debris re-enters.
So I went and got a master's in oceanography because I wanted to understand where in that South Pacific Ocean the debris re-enters.
You do not have to do a degree every time you want to do a study.
This is not my advice. But if you go and you do, you can do workshops, you can do two-day workshops, one-week workshops, you can look online, you can look at YouTube videos, as long as you familiarize yourself with the vocabulary that is used and you understand a little bit how those different categories of people think about a problem.
A systems engineer is going to look at a problem maybe differently than a planetary scientist, than an astronomer.
And so going in those different disciplines and understanding their language will help you build those links and also understand better what they're telling you.
And in terms of connecting and working on those links, if you do not want to do degrees, also just ask people who are doing the work that you're interested in.
I had not thought of that earlier in my career, but if you are interested in becoming a space policy person, go talk to someone who practices space policy.
What does this mean? Does this mean that this person is in front of the court of justice and is fighting for rights for future Martians?
Or is it someone who is dealing with the Hill and working with people on the ground in Washington, D.C.
to make deals happen? You don't really know what certain terms mean.
And again, going back to the language, ask directly people who you might admire or titles that might seem interesting and go find out what those roles mean in practicality.
This way you avoid spending a lot of time towards a career that in the end might be disappointing.
And Alexis? Sure.
For my career, I think it might be hard to enter without a technical degree just because I'm an engineer or an engineering degree.
But like we've all said, my role as an engineer is like a very small cog in the machine.
And so there's so many different moving pieces and parts that if you're interested in something different, you can definitely get into space that way.
I wouldn't discourage anyone from going into engineering.
It's a really great field. And, you know, it's you get to work with like the meat of the problem.
And. Yeah, so.
OK. Thank you. And so. Besides tips you have for folks, I guess a related question, but not this thing, do you want to motivate people to go into your field?
Would you really suggest it?
And if so, what calls to action do you have? So Jasmine, let's start with you.
Yes. Yes. Come to come to our field, especially when it comes to like the data field.
There's just so much going on and there's so much opportunity and it's only going to we're only going to get more and more information as we more technological as a society.
So there's so much like potential and opportunity, especially in the space sector.
So. I mean, if the job, if the career satisfaction and career, like basically having the gear, not guaranteed, but pretty good prospects for a career is not is not good enough for you.
I would say if you just think of our future and you want to be able to contribute to the future, that is.
The Star Trek future, basically, if you want to be able to contribute to that, we need people like you to build out this future.
Individual people can make such a difference.
And I think especially in space, I mean, you heard what every single one of us doing.
We're all doing something super impactful. We have a lot of responsibility in our fields and we're pioneering the way like how we're going to deal with all the how we're going to deal with space like this.
It's the new frontier. So we're all making such a big difference. And that is a call to action, I think, that everyone should consider.
And we definitely recommend entering into the field because you can make the difference that you want to see.
The space is there. The space is literally the space is here for you to make that change.
But from a from a like another aspect, I would say definitely learn.
It's something related to what Alyssa was saying. Reach out to people, learn about what's out there.
You may surprise yourself if you don't think a career or something you're interested in exists in space.
Look into it. Actually, chances are there is an equivalent correlation to space.
So, yeah, reach out to people, learn about what other people are doing and strive to find mentors.
As you heard, none of us got here by ourselves.
And we it takes a village. So that's it.
Yeah. Thank you, Melissa. Well, I connect to what was just said. Do your homework.
It's important if you're really passionate about something, just learn more about the discipline, learn where it can bring you so that also you don't waste time on certain things that in the future you realize, oh, this was absolutely not for me.
But as Rosa said, when you make a mistake, all those lessons will teach you. So even if you go into the wrong path, who cares?
You've learned something. But as a call for action, I would say that in some ways it might seem strange, but check yourself because there is this passion.
There is this love for space that sometime in some ways can be misleading because we all work there pretty much by passion.
And linked to those passion are some illusions because we especially in my field, people imagine what a space lawyer is, what a space diplomat is.
We have the images of Star Trek and Star Wars coming in mind and this sort of grandiose image.
And the reality is much more down to earth, if I may use that pun.
So of course, use your passion, but also make sure that whatever you discover when you join our field, because I'm sure you will now, you check and make sure that it fits you and it fits your philosophy and what you want to bring to this world.
All right, thank you. And Alex?
I would love to encourage people to join the field, not only space, but also engineering.
So like we've talked about today, space is so exciting. It's the final frontier and we're all like paving the way to get there.
But also with engineering, I know we're a panel of all women and not a lot of women like to go into the STEM degrees usually.
And that was truly the case when I was in college and actually up until my career now.
So you know, I was in the military. It's pretty male dominated.
So I was always the only woman in every one of my jobs that I had up until now.
So I came to SpaceX, I came into the civilian sector and there's women everywhere.
And I was so excited to see that and like truly inspired. And I think that was a perception I had growing up is they're like, oh, you want to be an engineer that like that's for boys.
And I didn't understand. And so now here I am, like it's not just for boys, it's for everyone.
It's for people of it's such a diverse group of people.
And so I would love to encourage people to join engineering and to join space and, you know, to come with that passion and just be excited for what you do.
All right. Thank you. And Rosa? Oh, yes, absolutely. I would encourage people to, you know, go into my field.
And that's one of the the activities that I do outside of my job.
One of the things that really stuck with me when I went to Peru to a very small village, very poor village in Peru, once a little girl came to me and said, wow, I didn't know that, you know, women and Peruvians could actually pursue degrees in aerospace engineering or even work for NASA.
And, you know, you just, you know, open my mind to something I didn't know I could be capable of becoming.
And so for me, for me, that was the best part of my trip, hearing that comment from her.
And so from then on, you know, that taught me that there are a lot of folks that, you know, don't know much about, you know, aerospace engineering or just airspace in general.
Right. And so I always encourage people to, you know, check out there are so many resources on the web.
And I mean, just with simply going even to just NASA .gov, we I hope that you get inspired by the work we do.
So there are different articles, STEM activities, mission updates, photography, beautiful, you know, images of, you know, just Earth and and even just in space.
And so if you go up, if you want to get involved or inspired, please check it out.
Great, thank you.
Excuse me. So we have an audience question, and there's no pressure to answer it.
Whoever wants to answer it can. And it's from Bethany. What is the biggest challenge you see in space in the next five years?
So, you know, we already talked about current challenges.
So if anyone wants to take this, you can. I think I could take a first stab at this.
I think that the speed aspect that I was mentioning that I mentioned before is something that needs to be figured out in the near future as one of the biggest challenges we face is getting making sure that our business processes, our cultural organization, like are just generally that we're built from a support standpoint to keep up with how fast we can build or technologically.
Like we're we're able to develop things so quickly and our engineering cycles are so short to get get things out there that we need to make sure that the rest of that support structure, all these other all the other functionals can keep up and deliver things out quickly.
How I'll say that for the next five years, what I would love is that we do not end up with unnecessary polarization because you see the development of different space forces.
But when you go and find out webinars and you learn about those, you see that they are already talking with each other.
You have the French Space Force talking with the US Space Force.
But from an outsider's standpoint, you can easily have those narratives of, you know, we are building a space force because we're in competition and we're going to fight against the Russians, the Chinese.
And to me, that seems really unnecessary.
Obviously, you want to make sure that you are protected and that you your assets are protected and that you can prevent any harm of your assets in space.
But at the same time, building a narrative of competition constantly.
Yes, it worked in some ways in the 60s. And yes, this is this helped drove the space sector at the time.
But I think we passed this. So if we can not rely on it every time we want to develop something that that would be great.
So hopefully less polarization in the next five years. All right. Oh, so similarly with my previous response, right, in working with the different, you know, understandings that we've had from the International Space Station and trying to actually create a sustainable presence around the lunar orbit with the upcoming gateway.
I think that is going to, you know, as we go through the process, we're learning a lot.
And and my hope is that we're going to continue developing technologies that are going to help us here back on Earth.
I think I agree as well. So, you know, in the next five years, we're not in the next five years, but we're starting to look to putting people in orbit around the moon, the HLS system, putting people on the moon.
And, you know, in the 60s, we went to the moon and we came back.
But that was the goal. And now we're looking to go and stay.
And so it's not just like the technological problem of getting there and staying there.
But I also see since we're paving this way, it's easy to pick a path when you have multiple paths to go down.
But when you start going down one path, you know, five years from now, it's hard to divert and come back.
So we I think what's really important for us right now is to like lay the proper foundation that's going to set us up for success in the future, not just, you know, we start going down this path and later we realize we were going down the wrong path.
So, yeah, I think that's what's really important.
The next five years is starting to lay this foundation and laying the proper foundation down to keep us successful like long into the future.
OK, great. Well, with this, I think we can wrap up.
Thank you all so much for your time. This has been super insightful and also fun.
And I feel like I learned so much. I'm sure the audience feels the same.
So, yeah, we'd just like to bring this conversation about aerospace to a close and thank our panel for sharing your thoughts and insights with us today.
And a big thanks to everyone for tuning into Cloudflare TV and providing the space, pun intended, again, to hold this conversation.
And so, Alexis, Jasmine, Rosa, Lisa, thank you so much for your time.
And I hope you have a great week. Thank you.
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