Ilyana and Siena have had some amazing experiences thanks to Project Scientist. They have met a female astronaut, seen space ships, visited SpaceX and JPL, and more. Project Scientist focuses on expeditions to different companies where they can meet and interact women in various STEM careers at the companies they work at.
We discuss confidence and all girls schools vs. co-ed schools and what they want to do when they grow up and how Project Scientist has shaped this. They also share their perspectives on climate change and their hopes for the future – both theirs and our planets.
Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio
Acronyms, Definitions, and Fact Check
JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) – The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in the city of Pasadena in California, United States. Founded in the 1930s, JPL is owned by NASA and managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology.
The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars. (https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/). It landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. It left earth on July 30, 2020. (wikipedia)
Virgin Galactic – an American spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson and his British Virgin Group retains an 18% stake through Virgin Investments Limited. It is headquartered in California, USA, and operates from New Mexico. (wikipedia)
In order to climb into such a spacecraft people are required to wear so-called “bunny suits” which prevent items such as hair, skin flakes, etc. from contaminating the inside of the spacecraft. (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=968)
Hyperloop – a proposed high-speed transportation system for both passenger and freight transport. The term was invented to describe the modern open-source project. Hyperloop is described as a sealed tube or system of tubes with low air pressure through which a pod may travel substantially free of air resistance or friction. (Wikipedia)
The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry downslope winds that originate inland and affect coastal southern California and northern Baja California. They originate from cool, dry high-pressure air masses in the Great Basin. Santa Ana winds are known for the hot, dry weather that they bring in autumn (often the hottest of the year), but they can also arise at other times of the year. They often bring the lowest relative humidities of the year to coastal southern California. These low humidities, combined with the warm, compressionally-heated air mass, plus high wind speeds, create critical fire weather conditions. Also sometimes called “devil winds”, the Santa Anas are infamous for fanning regional wildfires. (wikipedia)
Dr. Anita Sengupta is a rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, professor, and instrument rated pilot who for over 20 years has been developing technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, Asteroids, and Deep Space. She started her career working on the launch vehicles and communications satellites at Boeing Space and Communications. Next her journey took her to the forefront of the US space program. At NASA her doctoral research focused the developing the ion engines that powered the Dawn spacecraft to reach Vesta and Ceres in the main asteroid belt launched in 2006. Next she worked on the supersonic parachute system and skycrane that was integral to the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars in 2012. From 2012 to 2017 she led the development of the Cold Atom Laboratory, a laser-cooling quantum physics facility which is now on board the International Space Station. (www.anitasengupta.com)
Hydroplane – The carbon footprint of aviation is on the rise. Innovation is needed now to meet climate directives and address global warming. Hydroplane Ltd is developing an aviation hydrogen fuel cell power plant to enable emission free flight. Their technology can also be used for marine, automotive, and space applications. They are a woman and minority owned electric aviation and green energy technology company based in Los Angeles CA. Our team of experienced engineers and pilots understand the aviation industry from the design, operation, and customer perspective. They are also intimately familiar with a variety of aviation use cases from military, to disaster relief, general aviation, and business aviation. (www.hydroplane.us)
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2019 Fall Applicant, Matriculant and Enrollment Data Tables, women accounted for 52.4% of medical school matriculants this academic year. (www.aafp.org)