Orson John started his career at NASA as a summer intern, continued as a NASA Pathways student, and began a career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as an engineer after college. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 2010 from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology and now works as a reliability engineer in the Reliability & Risk Assessment Branch performing failure mode, fault and risk analyses for NASA spacecraft and instruments.
In this image, he is on the left and is preparing the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) for encapsulation in the United Launch Alliance Delta II payload fairing on Sept. 4, 2018, at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. At the time, the satellite was being prepared for its scheduled launch on the final Delta II rocket. ICESat-2 measures the height of a changing Earth, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses a second. The satellite carried the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS). ICESat-2 is helping scientists investigate why, and how much our planet’s frozen and icy areas, called the cryosphere, are changing in a warming climate.
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, learn more about Orson John, his Navajo Nation origins and his love for STEM.
Image Credit: USAF 30th Space Wing/Daniel Herrera