Bridget Landry
Deputy Uplink Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Likes/Dislikes About Career

The best thing about my job is the excitement of seeing and working on something that will be going to another planet, and of being on the spot, or know the folks who are, when new discoveries are made. The worst thing is that people who aren't trained as scientists or engineers (or haven't done that sort of work in years) oversee many aspects of the mission that require that sort of knowledge and training, and how unsettling that is to everyone who works here.

When I was a Kid

I enjoyed reading, particularly science fiction. I went to many science fiction conventions where I learned about science and science fiction side by side, in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere. I also took theater classes and ballet and was in many performances, which I enjoyed quite a lot. The theater classes included all the backstage duties as well as performing, so I learned a lot about working together and how different teams working on different portions of a project come together to make something really neat. This is very similar to how a spacecraft is run, so that training has come in handy. If you wanted to aim for working on mission operations, learning teamwork and problem-solving skills would be a good start.

Something that meant a lot to me when I was a kid was when a friend of my father, who was in the Navy, brought me a chip off the heat shield of one of the Apollo capsules. This man didn't work on a ship, but he knew how interested I was in space and found someone who was on one of the recovery ships and got that flake of paint for me. That was really special.

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