Meet: Laurie Darling
Cooperative Education Student
Flight Design and Dynamics Division
Johnson Space Center
"Shoot for the moon, even
if you miss you'll land among the stars!"
Who I am and What I do
I am a co-op in the Flight Design and Dynamics Division
working with the Visiting Vehicles Office. We are responsible for any
type of vehicle that wants to go to the space station, or any activity
involving rendezvous of the space shuttle and space station.
Some activities that make up my work include making
decisions on how, when, where, and why the shuttle will rendezvous with
the space station. Math skills are crucial to this job, as are knowledge
of the Russian and Japanese language since we work with the Russians and
Japanese to help them build safe space vehicles.
I always wanted to be an astronaut for as long as
I can remember, so NASA has always been my dream! The best part is that
I get to work in Mission Control!!! What I like the least is the computer
programming that everyone has to do.
Education and Career Path
I worked as a counselor for the U.S. Space Camp and Aviation
Challenge for a summer, and I pursued aerospace engineering at the University
at Buffalo (UB) to help land me a co-op position here at NASA. I was also
involved in the aerospace engineering club at UB, which gave me a hands-on
approach to the aerospace industry, through projects offered by the club.
I go back and forth every other semester from Houston to
Buffalo for school and co-oping. I have two dogs back home in New York
-- Toby is a terrier mix and Scout is a beagle. I miss my dogs down here
When I'm home, our family loves to get together for big
huge Italian dinners every Sunday night! I play lacrosse for my college
in NY, and I love to paint as well. I also enjoy running, skiing, and
My new hobby is flying; I want to get my pilot's license
in the next year. I have learned to always set goals, live for my dreams
and never give up!
I grew up in Jamestown, NY and went to Southwestern
Central High School. Since I was in sixth grade I've wanted to be an astronaut.
A great experience I had in high school was winning a scholarship to attend
Space Academy in Huntsville, AL, which was the most fun and interesting
week ever! I always looked up to Eileen Collins,
the first female shuttle pilot and commander, as my role model. When I
was younger I liked to read astronomy books, or any books about NASA that
I could find
Future plans and goals
I intend to go to graduate school to get my masters
degree in aerospace engineering, and then hopefully become an astronaut!
View my webcast:
Engineers Week Co-op Webcast Archive --