At an altitude of roughly 250 miles above Earth, Jasmin Moghbeli — AeroAstro alum, NASA astronaut, USMC Lieutenant Colonel, and Commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission— participated in a live virtual Q&A session via video from aboard the International Space Station. She answered questions from both the AeroAstro community and the MIT veterans community, facilitated by moderators PhD student and Major Andrea Henshall and AeroAstro Department Head Steven Barrett.
“Space exploration requires an incredible level of teamwork and working together,” the former multi-sport athlete said, decked out in her MIT jersey. (During her time at MIT, she was a captain of the women’s basketball team and was also a member of the women’s lacrosse and volleyball teams.) Moghbeli answered questions about everything from her path to becoming an astronaut to what Unified Engineering taught her about resilience and teamwork.
Of her experience in Unified (an AeroAstro core curriculum course that’s a rite of passage for all Course 16 undergrads), she reflected on the lessons she’s carried through her career:
“I don’t even remember all the subjects that were in Unified, and after MIT I went into the military and I didn’t even use that engineering side really for ten years until I went on to become a test pilot and started using it again. So it wasn’t the details of the coursework that’s what I carried with me. But what I learned in Unified that was so important was resilience and teamwork,” she said.
“I could not have gone through Unified, or MIT in general, without working with my classmates. And that is something I applaud MIT for so much—people aren’t trying to cut each other down, people are constantly helping one another. That, to me, is such an important thing to learn: how much more we can do when we work together. I’m not gonna lie, MIT was incredibly challenging for me. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, graduating from MIT was probably the hardest. Learning that I could fail, and keep going, and eventually get to my goal – those were the types of things that stuck with me.”
NASA and SpaceX are targeting early September for Jasmin and the crew of SpaceX’s Dragon to return to Earth. Special thanks to the team at NASA for making this connection possible.