A Palestinian lady from the Gaza Strip is a leading figure in operating NASA’s Orion Spacecraft and is responsible for software/hardware integration and testing to ensure the spacecraft is functioning properly.
The story of engineer Soha al-Qeshawi was published on NASA’s Arabic Facebook page as a success story. The Facebook page’s administrator referred to her as an intelligent Palestinian lady.
Speaking about herself, she said, “As a senior software engineer working on Orion, I am responsible for software/hardware integration and testing to ensure all the spacecraft’s computer commands perform as expected for America’s next generation spacecraft designed for deep space exploration.”
Al-Qeshawi described her role within NASA’s programme. “Working with bits and bytes all day is much cooler than you might think. I get to simulate Orion missions almost every day, just as if we are flying in space. I test the systems from launch, through flight and back to Earth.”
Regarding her role in the system, she explained, “If I find any issues, I resolve them and retest to ensure a smooth and safe flight for our future crews.”
Al-Qeshawi explained the reason behind her inclination towards spacecraft. “As a young girl growing up in Gaza City, Palestine, watching the space shuttle take off and come back to Earth always amazed me. That is what inspired me to become part of the space programme.”
She discussed the initial steps taken to pursue this career. “I came to Houston to pursue my degree in engineering from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Soon after graduation, I started work on the Space Shuttle Program.
“When the shuttle retired, I saw Orion as the new beginning for the next human spaceflight programme, and I wanted to be part of it.”
A final word of advice from al-Qeshawi with regard to pursuing ambitions was, “My advice to young girls around the world: always have a dream, dream big, and work really hard to make your dream come true. Mine did.”
Post embedded below is from one of NASA’s English language pages.