Bank of America Women's Leadership SeriesVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Women in Space: Breaking Barriers on Earth and Beyond
Thursday, June 17, 2021
7 p.m. Moderated Discussion
7:45 p.m. Audience Q&A — Questions welcome via YouTube Live or Facebook Live
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Since Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in June 1963, with Sally Ride following 20 years later, an increasing number of women have broken barriers — often, literally, Earth's barriers. Half of the most recent class of NASA astronauts are women. However, space exploration requires more than just astronauts, and more women than ever are working behind the scenes to send astronauts into space, including scientists, engineers, mathematicians, physicians, technicians, and many others collaborating to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Join Asia Society as extraordinary women involved in the U.S. space program discuss their careers and how to help women continue to break barriers on Earth and beyond.
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About the Speakers
Pooja Joshi Jesrani is one of 29 NASA Flight Directors responsible for managing operations for all human spaceflight programs including the current International Space Station (ISS), a habitable artificial satellite and microgravity laboratory carrying an international crew of six astronauts. The ISS travels at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting the earth every ninety minutes. From the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Flight Directors lead teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts, and support personnel located around the globe. They also coordinate ISS cargo and crew-vehicle integrations and help plan for future exploration missions.
Jesrani began her NASA career in 2007 as a member of the flight control team operating the ISS’s motion control system (ADCO). She certified to be a guidance, navigation and control front room and backroom flight controller as well as an instructor to the astronauts. In 2011, she planned the final Shuttle docking to the ISS for STS-135. In 2014, Jesrani was selected to be a Program Integration Engineer and help incorporate mission operations with the ISS program and upcoming commercial crew flights. In 2016, Jesrani was selected to be a Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the ISS. In this role she interfaced directly with the astronauts in space, including as the lead CapCom for SpaceX’s 14th mission to the ISS.
NASA selected Jesrani to become a Flight Director in 2018. She has since acted as lead Flight Director for the International Space Station’s 14th Northrup Grumman cargo flight and has supported Russian crewed and uncrewed vehicles. More recently, Jesrani completed her Flight Director certification for the CST-100 Boeing Starliner crewed vehicle, which will be launching American astronauts from U.S. soil in 2021.
Moderator and additional speaker information will be announced.
Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views.
About the Women's Leadership Series
The Women's Leadership Series (WLS) celebrates influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.
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The Women's Leadership Series Steering committee is chaired by Dr. Anne Chao. Members include Nancy C. Allen, Dr. Dina Alsowayel, Lisa Barksdale, The Honorable Theresa Chang, Kathy Goossen, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Dr. Michelle Herrera, Richa Himani, Brigitte Kalai, Mandy Kao, Shirley Kwan, Sultana Mangalji, Niloufar Molavi, Davana Petree, Vani Rao, Sue Sim, and Y. Ping Sun.
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Sue and Randy Sim
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