Publicity Listings Your last assignment was the JUNO project. “Oh, they were so much fun!” she exclaims with bright eyes and a smile. The scientists think it’s quite possibly the core of a proto-planet where the mantle got stripped off in a series of collisions. When I started thinking in high school about what I wanted to do for my career – math, science, and space seemed like things that could keep me interested for an entire career. Tests at school? “If I could’ve designed fighter jets, that would’ve been just fine,” she says, and then laughs as she remembers how she wasn’t allowed to play with a toy F-14 Tomcat [fighter plane] that her mom had bought for herself. She was never a person to say, "You can't do that" or, "You shouldn't do that." Director, NASA Planetary Science Division: When I was in middle school and high school, the way the school system seemed to work was to make you focus on getting a grade – "How do I get my A?" She remembered “it was formed from a giant cloud of gas and dust spewed out by supernovas and it all came together under gravity and made the sun and all the planets -- I thought it was bananas that scientists could figure all that out based on what they can see today.”, Drain answers questions at the KTW Student Program at the Kentucky Science Center. The April meeting of the Louisville Astronomical Society will be held on Saturday, April 15 at 7:00 PM in the Cochran Auditorium of Strickler Hall on the U of L campus behind the Planetarium. Court Records found View. She attended the University of Kentucky to pursue a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. The important thing about being a scientist or an engineer is learning how to think critically, learning how to be creative, learning problem solving, and learning how to learn. We have a unique student program at each of our speaker series events thanks to our sponsors at Lifetime Wealth Strategies, but this one was extra special. Planetary science is a global profession. ©2015 The University of Texas at Dallas For Industry Professionals. I was in math competitions in high school, and I remember one day we were all in a minivan driving down the freeway to a competition with my ninth grade math teacher, Mrs. Brown. I am waitting for this…. From February 2013 through the end of 2015, Drain took on an additional role as the technical group supervisor for the Flight System Systems Engineering group. Having played a part in the success of the Kepler mission. Tracy is a Flight Systems Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. After completing her degree in 1998, she went on to the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2000. As demonstrations protesting police violence toward people of color and the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have continued to capture the attention of the nation, other racial inequities have been exposed in necessary and immediate ways. But I loved it – I always had a few close friends who were also interested in the same nerdy things that I was, LOL. Be the first to contribute! I'm also looking forward to all the awesome science that's going to come out of the Juno mission. Drain, a mechanical engineer with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission for five years, is a blend of technical prowess and … I considered studying Astronomy; but in the pre-internet days, I really just didn’t have a good idea of whether there were many jobs for astronomers out there, or if doing that meant eventually just teaching astronomy… I had the impression that engineering was more practical than Astronomy; that there were probably more engineers than scientists at NASA, so I’d have better odds of landing a job there. It all turned out fine (a temporary issue that resulted in no harm to the vehicle or instrument); but just due to the time frame, it was a bit of a pressure cooker situation for a few days. I read a lot, and it used to be 100% science fiction and fantasy, but a few years ago I discovered the world of nonfiction. My mom was always very excited about airplanes and spacecraft and anything to do with space, whether it was real or fiction. That research, as well as summer internships at NASA’s Langley Research Center, helped her get her first job at JPL in 2000. Computer Science, Tracy D. Drain As much fun as we had that night, the real star of our experience with Tracy was the student program. One Kentuckian, who has devoted her life to science after being inspired as a student, has highlighted the importance of a supportive and challenging primary, secondary and post-secondary education experience. |  A deeply practical side balances her exuberant spirit. As a child, her mother, her teachers, and those around her encouraged her to “pay attention to the world around [her].” This attention to both natural phenomena and technological marvels would ultimately pave the way for Drain to pursue excellence in the sciences. Tracy was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she graduated from Waggener High School in 1993. The things I do on a day-to-day basis change over the course of the life cycle of a mission. Then after launch and during operations, you're flying the spacecraft. The fact that it was formed from a giant cloud of gas and dust spewed out by supernovas and it all came together under gravity and made the Sun and all the planets – I thought it was bananas that scientists could figure all that out based on what they can see today. It was appropriately held at the Kentucky Science Center and allowed students to engage with Drain directly, ask her questions and complete a few interactive activities. When I started thinking about what to do for a career, I decided that something related to Space could likely keep me interested and happy for many years. Tracy Drain After launch, her responsibilities include helping the team to prepare for major flight activities and to resolve problems that cropped up along the way. It was always, "OK! It was launched in August 2011, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4th 2017 after a 5 year journey. LAS to Host JPL Systems Engineer Tracy Drain at the April Meeting. It will feature JPL Systems Engineer Tracy Drain. While she is in Louisville, she will be visiting schools as a role model. We had two Mission Control areas fully staffed that day; one at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA and one at Lockheed Martin in Denver, CO (LM was our spacecraft contractor for Juno). Since she was young, Tracy has loved puzzles and brain teasers. Watchlist. Biography. The next three generations were all born in the Drain, Douglas co., Oregon area. NASA's Stardust spacecraft was the first to ever bring comet dust samples back to Earth. Image credit: NASA/JPL. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Posted by Tracy Drain on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

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