Sunday, April 21

Langley Celebrates Black History Month: Alexus Cottonham

Alexus Cottonham is an aerospace engineer supporting NASA Langley’s Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate. She finished a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is presently pursuing a master’s degree in systems engineering at Colorado State University. She began with NASA in 2020 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and is finishing her very first year at NASA Langley.

Who or what influenced you to select your profession and why?

Maturing, I in fact didn’t like science. I discovered science fairs so demanding, and I desired absolutely nothing to do with it. It wasn’t till I took physics in high school, and I resembled, “Wow! This is fantastic! You can forecast the future? You can utilize this mathematical formula to inform me where Mars will be and its orbit 20 years from now?” I simply fell in love. I had a high school instructor, high school physics instructor, Mr. [William] Budell who saw my interest and truly motivated me to think of a profession in engineering, which I had actually never ever done before. As I was checking out various profession alternatives, I discovered aerospace, where I might integrate my love of area and engineering.

What do you discover most satisfying about dealing with NASA?

The most fulfilling thing I discover about operating at NASA is the culture here. We truly do have that ‘One NASA’ state of mind. We’re all working towards a shared vision. Not to state that we do not have our difficulties or arguments, however it makes discovering services to those obstacles a lot simpler understanding that we’re all working for the advantage of mankind.

What do you take pleasure in doing beyond work?

Beyond work, I have a great deal of various interests. I delight in hanging out in nature, having a look at city parks, state parks, and national forests close by. I likewise take pleasure in board video gaming. I enjoy to take a trip and I’m normally preparing my next huge journey beyond work, and whenever I can, I like to support regional theater.

What guidance would you offer youths who might be thinking about pursuing a profession at NASA?

To those who have an interest in a profession at NASA, I generally provide suggestions to 2 various groups. You have a group of youths who understand that they wish to operate at NASA however aren’t actually sure what they’re dream task is, which’s completely fine. I would state to that group, discover your enthusiasm. Discover the important things that triggers delight in you, and you can do that by pursuing internships, discovering extracurriculars that stimulate interest, and as soon as you discover that enthusiasm, follow it! I utilized to believe that NASA was just for researchers and engineers, however that’s so not real! We have interactions professionals and accounting professionals, attorneys, and artists therefore various fields of professions here, so I would check out whatever you’re enthusiastic about.

To the 2nd group,

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