Jacqueline Townsend
Jacqueline Townsend

Jacqueline Townsend is a manager for the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument. Image Credit: NASA

Note: Some quotes in this story have been changed for readability.

What is your role with Hubble?

I manage a team of people working on the Wide Field Camera 3. This is a new camera that will take incredible pictures of the universe. It's my job to make sure the camera will work right. It's also my job to make sure the camera is ready on time and that it doesn't cost too much.

My team has people working all over the country and the world. Each person works on their own part of the camera. I have to make sure all the pieces fit together, like a puzzle.

What makes Hubble special?

Hubble is a great example of what NASA can do. It makes amazing science possible. It does this with the help of people on Earth and astronauts who fly into space.

How did you become interested in science?

I always loved NASA and space. But at first I didn't think I was good enough in math or science to work at NASA. In time, I realized that I needed to try harder. And that I shouldn't be afraid to fail.

So, I took a lot of science and math during college. The classes were hard but I did well. Soon, I got a job at NASA.

What advice would you give to students who are interested in science?

Give it everything you have. Sometimes you'll be wrong. Sometimes you'll make mistakes. And often you'll have to ask for help. But if it matters to you, don't let anyone stand in your way.

Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies