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Online From Jupiter 97

Nancy Vandermey

Sequence Team - Systems Engineer

a photo of Nancy Vandermey holding a leopard

Hi, my name is Nancy Vandermey, I am a Systems Engineer for the Sequence team on Galileo. I check the list of commands to be sent to the spacecraft to make sure that nothing being sent could hurt the spacecraft or any of the science instruments. I've worked at JPL for one year - I started in February 1996. Before that I worked at Edwards Air Force Base doing mission operations planning for a small spacecraft called MSTI. I've always wanted to work in the space exploration field, ever since I started reading science fiction books when I was about 8 years old. Ray Bradbury was the first author that I loved, followed by Arthur C Clarke. Of course I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, but I never really watched Star Trek until I went to college. I majored in Mechanical Engineering, and quickly found out that it's almost a requirement for mechanical engineers to watch Star Trek! Although the show was already off the air when I was a kid - I was born in 1967. Turning 30 this year didn't make me feel old, but realizing that Star Wars is 20 years old made me feel old!

I didn't even know what an engineer was when I started college - I went into it because I knew they worked with math and science a lot, which I loved in school. Actually I wanted to be an astronaut, but my eyesight is too bad to be a pilot, so I though maybe as an engineer I could be an astronaut someday. But no, there's an eyesight requirement for civilians too! Oh well, at least I finally got a job here at JPL, where I've always wanted to work.

In my copious spare time (another phrase engineers are required to use) I enjoy gardening at the house I bought last year, and I do volunteer work with big cats like jaguars and leopards. In fact I am webmaster for the Feline Conservation Center, or Cat House as we like to call it. (http://www.cathouse-fcc.org)



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