Saffron Restaurants reservation Meet NASA women behind the world’s largest flying laboratory – India Education | Latest education news | Global educational news

Meet NASA women behind the world’s largest flying laboratory – India Education | Latest education news | Global educational news


Deputy Project Manager

Kirsten Boogaard wears many hats for the DC-8 program, including deputy project manager, mission manager and assistant mission director.

Since 2020, she has served as Deputy Project Manager of the DC-8 Airborne Science laboratory, where she leads and manages project planning, integration and resources. She is one of three women qualified for the role of mission director for the flying laboratory.

“I am really proud of what I achieve at my work,” says Boogaard. “And I am most proud of being able to work full-time and support countless projects while having a child.”

Operations engineer

As an operations engineer, Nicki Reid authorizes the aircraft’s airworthiness by ensuring that the scientific instruments added on board support the aircraft’s safety. She also serves as mission director, where she manages communications with cabin and flight crew.

“It takes a lot of practice to get used to hearing all the different conversations and cutting out what’s important, staying focused and staying on top of all the action that’s happening,” Reid said.

For a scientific mission project, that focus is essential for maintaining efficient communication between scientists and pilots. Reid has honed that skill since she started as an intern at NASA Armstrong.


Carrie Worth is part of a team uniquely qualified to fly the DC-8. Her journey to becoming a pilot started as a child.

“When I was a little kid, I saw Patty Wagstaff perform aviation stunts at the air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin,” said Carrie Worth, NASA DC-8 pilot. “I decided then and there that I wanted to be a pilot.”

Before joining NASA, Worth served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force as a special operations and search and rescue pilot, then worked as a 747 pilot for United Parcel Service in Anchorage, Alaska. As a woman working in a male-majority industry, Worth is grateful for the supportive work environment at NASA and the DC-8 program.

“I feel incredibly fortunate with the support I have and have had from my male peers,” she said. “I have seen a significant improvement in the (aviation) culture, but there is still work to be done.”

Research Aerodynamics and propulsion industry Chief

In 2011, Erin Wagonner joined the Research Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch at NASA Armstrong to support sonic boom research. Today she is head of department.

“I am grateful for all the mentorship I have received throughout my career,” Wagoner said. “Everyone from the maintenance staff to the researchers is very welcoming, willing to share their expertise and is mission-oriented.”

Waggoner’s experience with the DC-8 program inspired her to recognize the value of team spirit in a successful project.

“I learned a lot about team dynamics during my time on the DC-8, such as how to integrate new members into an existing team,” said Wagoner. “I’m excited to encourage young women interested in NASA and aviation and learn from the women who paved the way before me.”

Site supervisor

Wendy Bereda began working on the DC-8 aircraft in 1999, first as a logistics technician and later as a project support technology technician. She is now a site supervisor for the maintenance contract at NASA Armstrong.

“Over the years I have received several awards, but the one that meant the most to me was from headquarters for my administrative excellence in sourcing parts and keeping the DC-8 flying.”

As a scientifically powered platform, the DC-8 project consists of a team driven to provide the best customer service.

“Our team has so much love for the DC-8,” said Bereda. “We live and breathe to make things happen. That’s why I’m proud to have been a big part of the life of the DC-8 at Armstrong.”

Experts like the women above enrich NASA’s legacy of innovation and exploration, making programs like the DC-8 successful.