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I Am NASA Stennis: Samone Wilson

Samone Wilson
NASA Public Affairs Specialist Samone Wilson seeks to inspire an Artemis Generation through her work in the Office of Communications at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.
NASA/Danny Nowlin

Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center regularly test rocket engines and propulsion systems that will help land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

Meanwhile, NASA Public Affairs Specialist Samone Wilson works daily to communicate how work at NASA Stennis and throughout the agency is continuing exploration of the universe for the benefit of all and to inspire the next generation of explorers.

“The job we do helps people feel the excitement and passion for the amazing work and technological advancements made possible by America’s space agency,” Wilson said.

The Hattiesburg native and resident is involved in all aspects of public engagement, where she leads outreach efforts, the speakers bureau, and guest operations, among other duties. Of late, much of her focus has been on telling the Artemis story and its progress in returning humans to the lunar surface in preparation for eventual missions to Mars.

Wilson began at NASA in 2010 as a media student while completing her bachelor’s degree in journalism at The University of Southern Mississippi. Early on, she helped NASA Stennis establish a social media presence, which now has more than 380,000 followers on multiple platforms.

“It is such an honor to share NASA’s story and the career possibilities with people from all walks of life, especially those that might not normally be exposed to such opportunities,” Wilson said. “It brings great joy to see their faces light up when they know that people just like them work for NASA. Representation truly matters.”

After leaving NASA Stennis in the summer of 2017, Wilson returned to work in her current role within the Office of Communications in October 2019. Since then, among other achievements, she has expanded the Space Sprouts initiative in an effort to reach preschool students and spur early interest in space and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). As a result, thousands have been reached through the program.

The public affairs specialist does not have to look far for motivation as she sees how proud her daughter, Sydni, is in knowing her mother works at NASA. The 5-year-old has developed a love for math and science at an early age as well.

Wilson was not too far from her daughter’s age when she had an impactful space memory that may have put her on the path to where she finds herself now. Family movie nights were always something eagerly anticipated, and when she was 7, Wilson watched the movie “Apollo 13.”

The movie left her fascinated at the perseverance of the mission crew in making it home safely. She especially felt a connection with astronaut Fred Haise after learning he grew up an hour south of her. Little did Wilson know that years later she would have the opportunity to work alongside Haise. Just as the Apollo-based movie inspired Wilson, that is what she hopes to do for others in sharing about Artemis and other agency and NASA Stennis activities.

“Being involved in both Green Run testing (of the Artemis I core stage) at Stennis where we simulated the launch and then working the actual Artemis I launch were two experiences that I will never forget,” Wilson said. “Both were important agency milestones that moved us one step closer to sending the first woman and first person of color to the Moon.

It is such an honor to share NASA’s story. … I look forward to inspiring the Artemis generation, just as I have been inspired.

samone wilson

samone wilson

NASA Public Affairs Specialist

“As an African American woman, I’m so excited to see the agency that I love so much be intentional about creating a diverse and inclusive atmosphere where everyone can feel valued and represented,” Wilson continued. “I look forward to inspiring the Artemis generation, just as I have been inspired.”

For information about Stennis Space Center, visit Stennis Space Center.