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. 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 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 and 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.
Jasmin Moghbeli was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. She reported for duty in August 2017 and having completed the initial astronaut candidate training is now eligible for a mission assignment. The New York native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Moghbeli, an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot and Marine Corps test pilot, has over 150 combat missions and 2,000 hours of flight time in over 25 different aircraft. She is also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, MD.
Grace Tan-Wang is a Principal Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), spending first half of her 30+ years in flight systems and the second half in mission operations. She has worked primarily on in-house flight projects such as Cassini, Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity, and now Perseverance as deputy Chief Engineer for Surface Development. She has also been working on technology advancements such as the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator project and now is co-leading the Europa Lander’s Autonomy task. Grace has a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and a MS in Aerospace Engineering from USC.
About the Moderator
Rose-Ann Aragon is an Emmy award-winning Filipina American reporter for KPRC Ch2 News for NBC in Houston. She was a Bronze Tablet Scholar and graduated summa cum laude in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In Houston, Rose-Ann was honored to be selected as KPRC's Space Reporter and has sat down with space legends including Bill Moon, the first Asian American to work in Mission Control; Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz; and Apollo 13 astronauts Commander Jim Lovell and Fred Haise. As a proud "space nerd," Rose-Ann was on the ground in Florida, covering the launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, the first launch from American soil in over a decade. She also serves on the KPRC committee dedicated to promoting diverse and community-driven storytelling. Her reporting on various news events earned her a Telly, Lone Star Award, two Edward R. Murrow National & Regional awards and several Emmy nominations.
Additionally, Rose-Ann is a co-founder of the Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro) Chicago-Midwest Chapter, and was the Programming Director for UniPro Texas, where she founded and directed UniPro Texas' first-ever Lumikha Arts Showcase, the chapter's core art and storytelling event featuring local FilipinX artists.
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.
Anne and Albert Chao
Nancy Pollok Guinee
Nancy C. Allen
Michelle and Hector Herrera
Kathy and Marty Goossen
Richa Himani/United Airlines
Mandy and William Kao
Shirley and Peter Kwan
Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron
Sultana and Moez Mangalji
Sue and Randy Sim
Sahana and Kishore Sundararajan
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About Asia Society Texas Center
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