The following is an excerpt from AMANDA KOOSER | April 26, 2018 | CNET.com |
Q&A: Ex-NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan, who'll be the first woman to run the National Air and Space Museum, also discusses rockets, Mars and discrimination.
Ellen Stofan's career reads like a lifelong date with destiny. Her mother was a science teacher and her father a NASA rocket scientist. Growing up, she witnessed fiery rocket launches and fell in love with geology while on a field trip with her mom. Put the two together, and you get a planetary geologist.
Finding her life's passion was just the beginning for Stofan, who went on to work on NASA's Magellan mission to Venus, the Saturn-studying Cassini mission and a proposed project to send a floating lander to Saturn's fascinating moon Titan. Stofan served as NASA's chief scientist from 2013 to 2016.
Stofan will take the helm at one of the world's most-visited museums on April 30 when she steps in as director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, with locations in Washington, DC, and Chantilly, Virginia. Stofan will be the first woman to lead the museum.
I caught up with Stofan to talk about why she never wanted to become an astronaut, her challenges as a woman in science and her plans for the museum.
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