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Victoria Garcia: Aerospace Engineer

4 minutes

(female) My name is Victoria Garcia. I'm an aerospace engineer here in Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I personally have never thought I couldn't have a career at NASA because I was deaf. You don't have to hear to do my job. I mean, I work at the computer. Do I have to hear anything? No. So, being deaf is not a physical barrier to me. It is a minor annoyance. One of the issues of deep space exploration is astronauts are going to be inside the spacecraft for an extended period of time, eight months, a year. Now, we want to make sure it is comfortable for them. We want to make sure that there will be no problems while they are gone. I'm working on the Virtual Environment Laboratory. What this is, is a motion tracking system. We can actually provide a virtual reality world. You put on a suit. You put on a head mounted display and it allows us to give us the visual experience in this environment. You can actually be immersed in any world that I give you. We actually have 12 new infrared cameras. You see I have markers right here. The cameras track every single one of these markers. It actually recognizes my skeleton based on these different markers. When you have the head mount display, it gives you a wide view of the world. The virtual reality world that you are in. We actually have a computer-generated model of the deep space habitat. Say, oh, you know what, this is hard to reach. I can't access this, or I can't see this, or I can bump into this, that type of thing. Now at this point, the deep space habitat has not been built. So we can easily change a problem, move whatever you need to move. Change whatever you need to change. One of the reasons why I love my job here is I'm able to see the projects from start to finish. And I feel like I've accomplished something. I've worked on so many projects already, I don't know if I can fit more information in my brain right now. But I love it. I love working here. I never thought that I would be a rocket scientist. Just because you can't hear doesn't mean you can't do the job. Especially nowadays, everything is so visual. Everything is on computers. And so there's nothing holding you back. Work hard. And let your interest in space propel you forward. Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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NASA aerospace engineer Victoria Garcia describes how she uses virtual-reality tools to design living and work spaces for astronauts. She also talks about not allowing deafness to be a barrier in her life. Part of the "Design Squad Nation" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes

Design Squad Nation
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Design Squad Nation
Episode 2
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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Episode 3
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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Episode 4
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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Episode 5
4 minutes
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Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
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Episode 7
4 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
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Episode 8
3 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
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Episode 9
4 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
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Episode 10
4 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8