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Tricia earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and has worked for NASA since her junior year in college, 22 years ago. She started in EVA (Extravehicular Activities or “spacewalks”) and was an instructor, flight controller and EVA lead for space shuttle flights to the Space Station. She ended her time (14 years) in EVA as the Group Lead for the space suit area, managing about 25 fellow instructors and flight controllers.
She is currently working as the Moscow Technical Liaison Office (MTLO) manager in Moscow, Russia and as the deputy manager for our Human Space Flight Program—Russia. She has lived there for 3 years and will continue until next June. Tricia says, “It has been very exciting working with our Russian partners on the International Space Station Program—lots of challenges, but also lots of rewards working in human space flight.”
A recent career highlight for Tricia was her trip to the Soyuz landing site on a Russian military helicopter to retrieve the early science from the Soyuz capsule that returned with 3 astronauts after spending 6 months on board the Station. She also regularly represents NASA by supporting the unmanned cargo vehicle (“Progress”) launches from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The Progresses bring supplies to the crew members on Station. Tricia said, “I feel fortunate to have many experiences that make me (still) think “is this really my job?!”
Tricia believes in educational outreach and has been fortunate enough to share her story by giving presentations at the University of Michigan and at various other organizations and schools, including in Moscow at the American Women’s Organization, the Anglo American School, the International Women’s Club’s Professional Women’s group and as the keynote speaker at an international law conference.
On a personal note, she has a natural sense of curiosity and passion that drives her to push herself both at work and outside of work. She loves to travel, experience new cultures and see what’s around the next corner and is happiest exploring a new place. Tricia set the goal to travel to all 7 continents before she was 40 and she achieved it!