Helene Winters
Project Manager
 
Helene Winters

I am the Mini-RF project manager for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It’s fun to imagine our instrument orbiting the moon and learning more about it, especially the parts we can’t see, like the permanently shadowed craters.

Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in Laurel, Maryland, and now live in Howard County, Maryland.

How did you become interested in space exploration?
When I was in eighth grade I attended a summer program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center intended to spark girls’ interest in space technology. It was effective!

What is your educational background?
I have a B.S. in computer science with a minor in math; I also have an M.S. in systems engineering.

What are your hobbies?
My kids.  I have a son in seventh grade and a daughter in fifth grade.  I enjoy spending my time with them – playing games, watching their sporting events, going to the beach, and volunteering at their schools.

What’s your job on Mini-RF?
I am the Mini-RF project manager for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

What has been the most exciting aspect of working on Mini-RF?
It’s exciting to imagine what is yet to be discovered on extraterrestrial bodies, including the moon – and what doors might be opened to future exploration, especially for humans.

What excites you about exploring the Moon?
Our Moon is the one planetary body that we’ve seen with the naked eye all our lives – even the craters.  So, it’s fun to imagine our instrument orbiting the Moon, and learning more about it, especially the parts we can’t see, like the permanently shadowed craters.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved in space exploration?
Focus on math, science and technology studies, but be adventurous in your class selections – don’t shy away from different areas. There are countless types of expertise that are valuable to space exploration in addition to science and engineering.