Steve Wofford: Rocket Engineer
When I was a child, I saw humans land and walk on the moon. I was so inspired that I decided I wanted to be a part of NASA -- the organization that made those incredible footsteps possible.
I earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Alabama and a master's degree in engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, in hopes of landing a NASA job. Now, here I am at Marshall!
I have been with NASA since 2000 and currently serve as the deputy manager of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office. My entire career has been in support of the space shuttle main engine – developed here at Marshall.
I worked for 13 years as a NASA support contractor and had the great opportunity to work with several Apollo veterans. I learned a lot from them -- about engineering and about life. I still get to work with wonderful people to solve difficult, challenging engineering problems and support something great.
My job is super cool because we do big and courageous things for our nation -- and we do it well. I'm reminded of that every time I see a space shuttle launch. That's a truly moving experience. I'm also reminded of that when my children and I go outside, look up into the night sky, and see the brightest star – the International Space Station. I can say, "I helped put it there."
I look forward to safely completing our job with the space shuttle and closing out the program on a high note. We will safely fly our remaining missions, and that's an accomplishment I'll be proud of for the rest of my life.
I don't know what the future holds, but the bold achievements of our nation in human spaceflight make me proud.
We must either lead or follow, and I hope we will continue to lead. I believe doing great things ennobles people and nations. Space travel is the great adventure of our lifetime, and I am privileged to be a part of that.