Welcome to Karen’s Space, my space on the Internet to talk about the things important to me, like space! I am a systems engineer, space enthusiast, lifelong learner, movie watcher, symphonic heavy metal music fan, Lego fan, reader, puzzler, wife, and mom.
Space exploration, planetary science, and astronomy are my passions. Professionally, I have worked in the aerospace industry as a systems engineer for 16 years, but not yet on a project related to space exploration. For the last 4 years, I have been furthering my education to prepare me a position on a space project, completing a certificate in Astronautical Engineering at UCLA Extension in March 2015 and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering at Loyola Marymount University in December 2015.
While I was in graduate school, I followed the progress of CubeSat technology. I’m interested in how CubeSats can be used to reduce the cost of space missions to other planets. Can we advance the technology enough to send small spacecraft based on the CubeSat standard on deep space missions to acquire data that planetary scientists have requested through the Decadal Survey conducted by NASA and the NSF? If so, smaller spacecraft with lower cost could be launched more often allowing scientific data to be gathered more frequently. Planetary scientists could get smaller quantities of data more often rather than waiting years, or even decades, to get overwhelming quantities of data on large, expensive space missions.
Beyond my interest in space exploration, I have become more active in the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) professional organization, leading a student division at LMU as president. I am also involved in SWE, AIAA, and IEEE.
This blog will primarily be images and news about space with some systems engineering, technology, and toys (mostly Legos) thrown in for good measure. For more information about my career, check out my resume.