Astronaut candidate's profile
What is your current job?
Space Systems Engineer, Planet Labs - I am responsible for the safe operation of two constellations of Earth-imaging satellites: the RapidEye constellation, consisting of 5 microsatellites; and the Dove constellation, composed of 150 nanosatellites in a variety of orbits. My job includes commissioning satellites after launch, investigating spacecraft and ground station anomalies, calculating and executing orbital manoeuvres, optimizing the performance of the two constellations, modelling satellite subsystems, and designing new ground control interface tools. When operating the world's largest commercial satellite constellation, every day brings new challenges and learning opportunities!
Why do you want to become an astronaut?
There are two kinds of people in the world: the astronomers, who are content to observe things from afar, and the astronauts, who need to see things in person. From this simple perspective, then, I am already an astronaut. I have always had an affinity with space and space travel—and that led me to a career in spacecraft engineering—but I am also driven to ride a rocket into space myself, to experience firsthand the feeling of weightlessness, and to contribute personally to the exploration of our solar system and to the advancement of human civilization beyond Earth.
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