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How I’m training to become Australia’s first woman astronaut

todayAugust 7, 2021 2

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I’m currently training to become Australia’s first woman astronaut. I expect to fly my first suborbital mission sometime in 2023 as a payload specialist on a commercial mission. In other words, I’ll be one of few certified crew members who can handle specialized scientific equipment aboard a suborbital spacecraft.

Once we’re up there, my team and I expect to conduct research on Earth’s atmosphere. It’s an opportunity I consider out of this world. But it has taken a lot of effort for this dream to be realized.

My path to PoSSUM

As a female STEM and legal professional, my past jobs included working as a research scientist in mining and metals for BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) — but I always loved space.

After combining my science degree with two law degrees, I won a scholarship for the International Space University. I eventually received an Australian Government Endeavour Executive Award for a project at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre. With this, I pivoted towards a career in the space industry, and have never looked back.