Women Who Delivered New Horizons to Pluto

Women Who Delivered New Horizons to Pluto

Women make up about 25 percent of the New Horizons team. All of them were photographed at Johns Hopkins University at the Applied Physics Laboratory on July 11, 2015, just three days before the closest approach of the spacecraft to Pluto. Kneeling from left to right: Amy Shira Teitel, Cindy Conrad, Sarah Hamilton, Alice Earle, Leslie Young, Melissa Jones, Katie Bechtold, Becca Sepan, Kelsey Sing, Amanda Zangai, Coralie Jackman, Helen Hart. Standing, from left to right: Fran Begenal, Ann Garch, Gillian Redfern, Tiffany Finley, Heather Elliott, Nicole Martin, Yanping Guo, Katie Olkin, Valerie Mulder, Raina Tedfort, Silvia Protopara, Martha Kusterer, Kim Enniko Annn Bonney, Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnet, Silvia Protopara, Martha Kusterer, Kim Enniko, Bonnie Bonny Sarah Busior, Veronica Bray, Emma Biraf, Carly Hovet, Alice Bowman. Do not get on the photo: Priya Darmavaram, Sarah Flanigan, Debi Rose, Sheila Zurvatsek, Adriana Ocampo, Jo-Ann Kiezkowski.

When Fran Begener began her career working on the NASA Voyager mission, she was one of several women on the team. But it did not upset her. “That's how it was,” she explains, adding that she was focusing exclusively on particles and plasma. "Cosmic physics is my way of studying the solar system." Now, as the main expert on cosmic particles and plasma in the New Horizons mission to Pluto, she responds with a shrug of the relative abundance of women in the team. "This is not wonderful - this is the way it should be."

Informally interrogated colleagues Beguerner support her attitude to the prevailing number of representatives of the weaker sex working on the New Horizons mission. "I never thought about it," says Kim Enniko, deputy supervisor of the New Horizons project, which calibrates the instruments on the spacecraft and monitors their condition. "I really realized this only when I saw some women in the meeting room."

Women Who Delivered New Horizons to Pluto

Alice Bowman, Mission Manager, while working at the Mission Control Center. At work, Bowman in it is "MOM".

In preparation for the Pluto fly-around phase, which will continue from July 7 to July 16, Enniko works with Leslie Young, another deputy supervisor of the project. Young is instructed to establish all the goals of the apparatus New horizons in those precious days when it will be in close proximity to Pluto. "I study all the priorities of a spacecraft," she says, describing this process as "work that consists of planning and observation at the same time, which will help collect the most data in a limited time."

The Young installations for the New Horizons mission have already been loaded onto the ship with the help of her colleague Tiffany Faynlay, who calls the New Horizons gender balance "refreshing."

All commands are transmitted to the spacecraft controlling Alice Bowman. She personally reads each line of code before sending it on a four and a half hour journey to the New Horizons. “I’m the last to sign for everything we ship to a spacecraft,” she explains. "I want to make sure everything is done right."

To achieve such a long-term goal without accurate calculations is impossible, this is one of the main tasks of Yanping Guo. As the leader of the mission’s “design,” Guo wrote her entire trajectory, including circling Jupiter and Pluto. In short, "My job is to bring New Horizons to Pluto," she says.

Women Who Delivered New Horizons to Pluto

Members of the New Horizons crew before the launch of the spacecraft, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 19, 2006. From left to right: Leslie Young, Yanping Guo, Katie Olkin, Jeanette Thorn, Debye Rose, Ann Garch, Heather Elliott, Fran Baganal. Dozens of women working on the New Horizons mission are eagerly waiting for July 14, when the ship flies around Pluto and all the talk about gender relations will become irrelevant. "Girls will be inspired by their accomplishments, and boys who are" blinded "by gender issues will see that woman and science are complementary terms," ​​says Young.

For Deputy Project Director Kathy Olkin, everything is much simpler. "New horizons are a group of talented, intelligent people who are passionate about the mission. This is exactly what makes it amazing."

On Tuesday, July 14, when the clock will be 7:49 am Eastern Time, the ship New Horizons will approach the minimum distance from Pluto and fly it at a speed of about 49,600 km. hour, collecting along the way the data of the family, established on it, scientific tools. The long nine-year mission will complete the exploration of the solar system with a glance at a distant dwarf planet.

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