"As the director of the Planetary Science Division (PSD) of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, I oversee all of NASA's flight missions and science research that is focused on ascertaining the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere," said Dr. Lori Glaze.
"In addition to the incredible science that PSD enables, we also lead many activities related to Planetary Defense, both to prevent Near-Earth Object (NEO) impacts on Earth and to identify NEOs that pose potential threats to Earth."
Shonte Tucker - Systems Engineer
"Systems engineers keep an eye on the big picture, and help the various areas of a project understand the impact their decisions have on other areas."
Sue Smrekar – Scientist
"Research is my passion. I love trying to understand how planets work."
Heather Ann Bottom - Systems Engineer
"Follow your heart, and stay true to yourself. Work hard, and don’t give up on what is worth fighting for."
Kelly Fast – Planetary Defense Coordination Office
"My job is all about trying to find the asteroids before they find us."
Mamta Patel Nagaraja – Science Communications
“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. It turned out that she outgrew the crazy dream, and my desire only got stronger.”
Tracy Drain – Flight Systems Engineer
"The important thing about being a scientist or an engineer is learning how to think critically, learning how to be creative, learning problem solving, and learning how to learn."
Khanara Tauch Ellers – Engineer
"Never give up! Stay focused and work hard toward your dream! Don’t allow what happens in life to blur your focus."
Rosaly Lopes – Vulcanologist
“I saw my first volcano erupt, and that changed my mind forever. The active crater had a beautiful fire fountain spurting red lava about 30 to 50 feet up into the air. It was the most beautiful spectacle, and I was hooked on volcanoes from then on.”
Cinzia Zuffada – Associate Chief Scientist
"I am the JPL Associate Chief Scientist, working closely with the Chief Scientist on setting directions for science, informing and managing the laboratory's internal R&D programs."
Lindsay Hays – Program Officer and Deputy Program Scientist
"Talk to everybody you can about how they got to where they are, what their day-to-day work is like, what they love about their jobs, and what they don't like. It's remarkable what you'll find out about what opportunities there are."
Touching the Sun
"As the director of the Heliophysics Division, I lead NASA’s efforts to explore the star that makes life possible on Earth: our Sun," said Nicola Fox.
"Scientists who study heliophysics are looking at how the Sun impacts our planet and the rest of the solar system, as well as how we can protect astronauts, satellites, and robotic missions from its harsh radiation. Scientists can also compare the Sun to other stars that host planets, leading to insights about which distant worlds might be able to host life. Ever since people first looked up, they’ve been looking at the bright light in the sky and wondering what it is and how it works. In many ways, we are really the oldest science branch there is."
In an agency filled with trailblazers, Sally Ride was a pioneer of a different sort. She broke the gender barrier on June 18, 1983, when she became the first American woman in space.
The Mother of Hubble
Dr. Nancy Grace Roman was NASA's first chief astronomer. She's also known as the 'Mother of Hubble.' In a time when women were discouraged from studying math and science, Roman became a research astronomer and was instrumental in taking NASA's Hubble Space Telescope from an idea to reality and establishing NASA’s program of space-based astronomical observatories.
Dr. Roman died on Dec. 26, 2018, at the age of 93. In May 2020, NASA announced it's naming its next-generation space telescope currently under development, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), in honor of Nancy. The telescope is now the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope – or Roman Space Telescope, for short. It's set to launch in the mid-2020s.