The aerospace engineer from Cali, Diana Trujillo, who has taken giant steps in the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), continues to reap success. This Wednesday June 22 it was reported that Trujillo is one of the seven people graduated as flight directors for the missions of this space agency: those of the International Space Station, the commercial crew and the Artemis lunar program.
The seven selected —three women and four men— received training in risk management, operational leadership, technical aspects of flight control and vehicle systems. His role will be to direct human spaceflight missions from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“These highly qualified individuals will be responsible for keeping astronauts safe and executing human spaceflight missions,” said NASA Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight.
They will be responsible for teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts, and support personnel from around the world. They must make decisions in real time in a high-pressure environment, since the safety and integrity of NASA astronauts in space depends on them.
The other members of the 2022 cohort are Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Chris Dobbins, Garrett Hehn, Nicole McElroy, and Elias Myrmo; , five engineers and a computational scientist. NASA currently has 108 flight directors, all of whom are space science professionals with years of study and professional experience.
“These flight directors and the experience they bring with them will be critical to humanity’s return to the Moon and future exploration of Mars. I am proud to have them join our team,” said NASA Acting Executive Flight Director Emily Nelson.
The outgoing president of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, celebrated through his Twitter account the achievement of this Colombian, who is the first woman to become flight director in that space agency. The president assured that she, who received the Cruz de Boyacá in 2021, is an inspiration for the girls of the country.
“Our congratulations salute to aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo (@FromCaliToMars), on her appointment as @NASA_Johnson Flight Director, to oversee the @Space_station and @NASAArtemis missions. Her work inspires girls and young people in the country,” said Duque.
Diana Trujillo was born in 1981 and grew up in Cali, but migrated to the United States in 1998, at the age of 17, without knowing English and with $300 in her pocket. She studied at Miami Dade College while working various trades and was the first Hispanic migrant woman to be admitted to the NASA Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. Because of her outstanding performance, she was one of only two students to get a job at the space agency.
Already well on her way to space science, Diana Trujillo graduated with an aerospace engineering degree from the University of Maryland. Within NASA she has worked as Integrated Planning and Sequencing Group Supervisor for Surface Missions.
In that role, he supported missions to the surface of the planet Mars, as well as the return of samples collected there. She was also mission chief for the Mars exploration vehicle Perseverance, and Mars surface flight director for the Ingenuity helicopter. In addition, she was the head of mission for Mars Curiosity.