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Q&A with Women working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • September 17, 2013
  • Comments Off on Q&A with Women working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

EDIT 10/18/13, Here is a transcript of the Reddit Q&A on JWST’s website. You can also read the original thread, which is posted below.

EDIT 9/26/12, Here is the thread with the Q&A:

Ever wonder what the job experience is like for women working on NASA’s flagship astronomy mission? Experts will answer questions related to their jobs on the James Webb Space Telescope on on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. EDT.

Reddit, a popular on-line community where users vote on content they find interesting, has many sub-forums. This particular Q&A session will be taking place on the TwoXChromosomes subreddit, which is intended for “thoughtful content – serious or silly – related to gender, and intended for women’s perspectives.”

The following women, with diverse and interesting jobs, will participate:

  • Allison Barto: Program Manager, previously JWST optical systems engineer (Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp)
  • Christine Chen: Associate Astronomer, JWST MIRI Instrument Scientist (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • Pam Harris: Senior Resource Analyst (NASA Goddard)
  • Stephanie Hopkins, Project Support Specialist (NASA Goddard)
  • Amy Lo: JWST Alignments Thread Lead (Northrop Grumman Corporation)
  • Maggie Masetti: Social Media/Website Lead (NASA Goddard)
  • Stefanie Milam: Planetary Scientist (NASA Goddard)
  • Nikki Rawlings: Senior Resources Analyst (NASA Goddard)
  • Marcia Rieke: Professor of Astronomy & NIRCam PI (University of Arizona)
  • Desiree Stover: Photographer (NASA Goddard)
  • Amber Straughn: Astrophysicist (NASA Goddard)
  • Shannon Valley: Legislative Affairs Specialist (NASA HQ)
  • Julie Van Campen: JWST ISIM Deputy Systems Engineer (NASA Goddard)
  • Tracy Vogel: Editor/Writer (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Reddit Q&A Participants

If you are a long-time Blueshift reader, you’ll have some idea what the James Webb Space Telescope is, since I write about it not infrequently. JWST is the world’s next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, JWST will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed, and explore planets around distant stars. It is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Those interested in asking the above listed women questions about their experiences working on JWST will be able to do so starting at approximately 1 p.m ET on September 26, when the Q&A thread will be posted. They will answer questions for approximately 2 hours, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on the Reddit “TwoXChromosomes” subreddit.

Once created, the Q&A thread will be posted to Webb telescope’s various social media presences; see the following for more information:

James Webb Space Telescope Mural Image.
Credit: Northrop Grumman


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