NASA engineer in Georgia - How science can take you to the stars
21 September, 2016
NASA engineer in Georgia - How science can take you to the stars
Perhaps many of you have dreamed of traveling through space or visiting NASA space center. Well, those who have not achieved their goal yet, had a wonderful chance to meet NASA aerospace engineer Tricia Mack in person and ask her questions. The top engineer at NASA was specially invited to hold meetings with Georgian students and society by the US Embassy in Tbilisi. Tricia Mack held a few meetings and the lectures were free and open to the public, as part of Tbilisi Science and Innovation Week 2016. Within the framework of her lectures Tricia shared her career experience with attendants and spoke about international space station, aerospace engineering, its importance and the tasks and responsibilities it deals with. She was in the 8th grade when she decided she wanted to connect her entire life to aerospace and since then she firmly followed her dream until it came true.
NASA Aerospace Engineer Tricia Mack

“Back in 8th grade, Earth Science class was required and each week we studied a different subject. I saw the iconic photo of space-suited astronaut Bruce McCandless on a Manned Maneuvering Unit untethered from the space shuttle, and it captivated me. I was in awe. How could engineers design and operate such a system? That’s when I knew I wanted to work for our nation’s space program, and what would be more exciting and challenging than working with people who were spacewalkers? I was hooked and the goal was set”, - Tricia said.
Astronaut Bruce McCandless

While explaining what aerospace engineering is, she said that besides designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and fully preparing them to fulfill their missions at best, one of the duties of an aerospace engineer is to train and physically prepare cosmonauts before flying to the outer space. As she explained, special pools are used to teach future astronauts how to float around in the space, since in water there is microgravity almost similar to the one in space.

Apart from the story of her success the speaker also revealed her failure as well, that played a key role in shaping her future career, otherwise she would not have been standing here and talking to us as a representative of NASA.

“While attending the University of Michigan, studying Aerospace Engineering, I learned
about the co-operative program where you alternate university terms with working at NASA. At that time, NASA only hired permanent employees from their co-op program, so I knew that I had to secure a co-op position to fulfill my dream. I applied through my university…and I wasn’t selected. This was the first—though not the last—time in my career where I needed a backup plan. Sure, my school didn’t pick me to co-op, but that didn’t stop me. I contacted NASA at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and asked if I could apply directly to the program…and I was selected. I often look back and wonder if I didn’t have the determination to pursue an alternate solution, where would I be? I was a 19-year old making a decision that put me on my career path with NASA”, - Aerospace engineer explained.
Astronauts undergoing training in neutral buoyancy pool

The engineer also expressed hope that in the future the number of females in this field will increase, at present 20 percent of NASA engineers are female, which represents a 76 percent increase since the early '90s. While talking about her occupation and duty she once again stressed the huge responsibility and the tremendous work, thanks to which to this day they have maintained a continuous human presence on the space stations board for over 14 years. After her lecture Trisha answered the questions, took a lot of photos with the students and handed out the souvenirs of NASA to them symbolically.
International Space Station

While speaking with Georgian Journal she remarked that she met young Georgian inventors as well, the winners of Millennium Innovations Awards competition, who were invited to NASA Kennedy Space Center in US and attended the annual innovations summit. As she said, she was impressed by the school boys’ invention, the technology for increasing solar cell efficiency. As Tricia Mack said, her mission was not to convert the whole hall into astronauts or aerospace engineers, although it would be cool, but to show that the human’s abilities are limitless and nothing is impossible. Before leaving the hall she in few words shared her impressions on Georgia. According to her, she visited Georgia for the first time 4 years ago and she was impressed by the beauty of its landscapes. When asking her about Georgian cuisine and her favorite dish, of course we could not miss this question, she exclaimed with excitement – “Of course, Khachapuri, (Georgian cheese bread)”, yet she also singled out Satsivi (chicken, turkey in walnut sauce) and Ojakhuri (family dish with potatoes and meat prepared on clay pan named Ketsi). In one word, the event turned out successful and extremely interesting, yet those who have not managed to attend it and want to learn more about aerospace engineering, can register for online courses and extend one’s knowledge in this field.

Author: Lika Chigladze

Related stories:

16-year old Georgian Inventors will Attend a Summit at NASA

Georgian students attend annual innovations summit at NASA

Other Stories
May 17: Anti-Homophobia and Family Purity Day events take place simultaneously in Georgia
May 17th features two different events: one part of the society marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in Georgia
76 years together – Adjarian couple and their 162 descendants
In the village of Garetke, in Adjara’s Merisi gorge, there live 94-year-old Zekie and 95-year-old Hasan Turmanidzes,
Bicycle Lanes to Be Laid in Tbilisi
Tbilisi will soon boast its own cycle paths and infrastructure, enabling riders to safely navigate the city in specifically modified areas.
Culinary competition demonstrating US-Georgia friendship
On May 5th, 2017, USAID program REAP together with the Culinary Academy hosted an exciting culinary competition marking the 25th anniversary of Georgian and the US friendship.
Smart Kids - Winners of Millenium Innovations Award Visit NASA
The first prize winners of the Millenium Innovations Award, a team of 8th graders called Smart Kids from the Zugdidi
4.7-magnitude earthquake hits Georgia
A 4.7-magnitude quake has hit Georgia. According to the Seismic Monitoring Center, two underground quakes were observed
New Wine Festival to Open on May 13 in Tbilisi Mtatsminda Park
It will be the eighth time that Georgian Wine Club hosts a wine festival, aimed at popularizing Georgian brands, as well as raising awareness and wine culture inside Georgia.
Chips, fizzy drinks and jellies to be restricted in Tbilisi schools
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has devised recommendations aimed at implementing principles of healthy eating in educational centers.
Comfort stations to be arranged at Tbilisi’s 30 locations
As Tbilisi City Hall has reported, comfort stations will be arranged at 30 locations in Tbilisi.
“I want to confess that for my family you are a saint” - Sheikh Ul Islam to Georgia’s Patriarch
"You may never hear anything like this happen in the world: the Muslim sheikh visits the Christian patriarch, kisses his hand and recognizes him as his elder."
Fast buses may appear in Tbilisi soon
Fast buses moving on separate lines may appear in Tbilisi soon,
Polluters to be fined in Tbilisi from today
Beginning from today, the street inspectors will fine the individuals and legal entities for polluting.
Georgia enlisted in low-risk countries list on ‘Bloomberg Risks Map’
The U.S. Bloomberg edition releases the global risks map assessing the threats world’s countries are facing.
Inside the Lives of Georgia’s Child Brides – National Geographic
Mari, 15, lives in the Adjara region. Most girls her age drop out of school to get married. Her grandmother believes it’s a tradition meant to be passed down.
Inheriting the Future, the Georgian-German Year 2017
On April 21 the Georgian-German Year 2017 will officially begin, with an opening ceremony to be held at Tbilisi City Assembly,
Holy Fire descends upon the Tomb of the Jesus in Jerusalem
Holy Fire has descended upon the Tomb of Jesus Christ at the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem today.
Georgian inscriptions on the tomb of Jesus Christ and the Holy Land
‘Golgotha chapel belonged to a Georgian brotherhood and the inscriptions were left by the monks who served there’.
10-year old Georgian ‘business kid’ in pursuit of happiness
Sandro Kantaria is 10 years old but he already has his own income.
Travelling by Tbilisi metro will be free on Easter
In relation to the Easter holidays, the subway in Tbilisi will work with extended schedule.
Vazha-Pshavela reading space to be opened in National Library of Georgia
Great Georgian author Vazha-Pshavela’s reading space will open in the National Library of Georgia.
Georgian team rank 3rd at Google programming competition
Georgian software specialists have taken the third place in a Google’s competition called Hashcode, where 2815 teams from Europe and Africa were participating.
Riverbeds to be freed from buildings in Tbilisi
Riverbeds will be freed from buildings and transformed into recreational zones in Tbilisi.
Movies with smoking scenes might be censored in Georgia
Smoking in films may be censored in Georgia. The amendment offers that the movies, where characters smoke, be shown only during hours when the underage don’t watch it.
Where donors' money is spent - social activists creating artificial problems?
It is necessary to protect the labor rights and we all want the situation to improve in our country in this regard. However, by the campaigns based on lies, the very idea is being discredited.
Other Stories
So-called Night Wolves, Russian motorcycle club, has arrived at Vake Park.
In the frames of the media-program conducted by IREX and US Embassy to Georgia,
Ani Tsitsishvili is a 20-year-old student of Georgia’s Agricultural University veterinary department and she’s very fond of microbiology.
More and more Georgian alternative musical bands are emerging on the scene.
Wooden products are gaining popularity on Georgian market, including glasses, watches, bags, etc. A new item was added to that list recently – bows made of natural wood.
Georgian citizens will be able to enter the EU without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by the Parliament on Thursday, - Official website of European Parliament reports.
The heavy fire has entirely destroyed the building of a trade centre Chidren’s World last night.
The world-famous American musician Moby expressed his support to Georgian rock band The Mins at the nearest Eurovision contest publicly.
In all prisons throughout Georgia a special Christmas service was held.
An awesome footage featuring foreign students singing Georgian song has gone viral on social media.
GEL Exchange
September 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30