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Faces of SLS: Nyla Trumbach

Nyla Trumbach

As part of the test operations team, I am responsible for preparing the A-1 test stand for hot-fire testing. That involves transferring propellants, like liquid hydrogen, to the test stand, and conducting RS-25 hot-fire tests.

I absolutely love what I do. Testing rocket engines is so exciting. Watching the engine rumble and roar to life with fire and feeling the ground shake is a very emotional experience. It’s a strange mixture of excitement, anxiousness and fear.  I literally cried after our first test in January. Yes, crying is allowed in rocket engine testing. Aside from being a stay-at-home parent, this has got to be the best job out there.

I’m from the rural town of Poplarville, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. I love spending time with my family. My husband and I have two daughters, who are 4 years old and 2 years old. I also have two miniature donkeys and five Nigerian dwarf goats. I recently started beekeeping, and I am in love. Keeping honey bees gets my adrenaline pumping almost as much as a hot-fire test.

I feel very blessed to be a part of the RS-25 test team.  It is a great opportunity and privilege to work on America’s next great rocket. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for SLS.

NASA is certainly one of the best places to work in the country, but it can be very challenging at times. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. I had many fears along the way, but I forced myself to face each one of them. Each time I faced an obstacle head on, I grew stronger. You won’t always succeed. Sometimes you will fail. However, I have found that you typically profit more from the failures than you do the successes. Don’t be afraid to fail — press on toward the goal to win the prize.