ColombiaOne.comColombia newsColombian Diana Trujillo Debuts as NASA Flight Director

Colombian Diana Trujillo Debuts as NASA Flight Director


Diana Trujillo
Colombian Diana Trujillo debuts as NASA flight director. Credit: NASA / Public Domain

Colombian Diana Trujillo is the 108th flight director at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The aerospace engineer will lead a work team that will participate in the exploration of Mars. Trujillo’s choice of the name ‘Somos Flight’ expresses her sense of the team being “a community…..what we are as people and what we value”.

In her debut at the NASA complex in Houston, Trujillo, 44 years old, besides describing her “absolute joy”, said that “one of the most important lessons learned” was to discover “the power that comes from working together with a team of people who share the same passion for exploration.”

From Cali to Mars

This Cali native is the first Latina woman to be part of the U.S. space agency’s Academy program and to be selected to lead manned space flight missions.

“Mars helped me understand what it means to be an explorer. Exploring this unknown world, taking panoramic views of its beautiful landscapes, finding the key ingredients that prove that Mars could have harbored life, and then contemplating our pale blue dot in the night sky through the eyes of the rovers made me the space explorer I am today,” said the Colombian scientist.

The challenges facing her team are significant. “This is the team that will write the next chapter in human history, taking us back to the Moon, Mars and beyond,” Trujillo said regarding the goals of NASA’s upcoming missions.

Diana Trujillo made her debut as flight director yesterday, but was chosen with others by the U.S. agency as early as 2022, after completing a comprehensive training program that includes operational leadership and risk management, as well as the technical aspects of flight control and vehicle systems.

Diana Trujillo
Diana Trujillo, center, with other flight directors in 2022. Credit: NASA

‘Somos Flight’, unit call sign

Trujillo chose the call sign ‘Somos Flight’ (meaning ‘we are flight’) because of what the word ‘somos’ (we are) means to her. “We are bold. We are united. We are explorers. We are a family. We are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We are engineers, scientists and doctors. We are a community of explorers. The word ‘somos’ speaks of community. What we are as people, what we value, what we have overcome to be who we are, and what we can accomplish together. That’s why my call sign will be ‘Somos Flight’,” said the Colombian.

Trujillo is part of a new group that includes Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Chris Dobbins, Garrett Hehn, Nicole McElroy and Elias Myrmo. The seven will lead “teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts and support staff around the world, making decisions in real time,” the agency detailed in 2022.

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