Ahead of the much-anticipated moon launch of the Israeli-made “Beresheet” spacecraft, its creators, SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, held a special press conference to discuss details of the historic event scheduled for overnight Thursday, Israel time.
TIP spoke with SpaceIL ground segment system engineer, Daniela Geron, on the technicalities of the mission and the significance of women in the field.
Audio of the conversation can be found below:
00:41 – “Starting with the systems in the mission-operations center, we have the spacecraft command and control, which is the software that is in charge of telecommunicating with the spacecraft, is charge of sending commands to the spacecraft, and receiving data from the spacecraft. We have the flight dynamic system, which is charge of planning the trajectory and determining the trajectory from the measurements that we’re receiving from the spacecraft, and the simulator, which is the system that simulates the spacecraft and its environment.”
02:36 – “SpaceIL is not a very large team… the engineering team is 20-something [people] and out of this team there are five women, one in the altitude and orbit control system, she’s a doctor. And we also have two very, very young and talented young women which are before university and they are doing a lot of verification and validation and we are very lucky to have them as part of our team because they served in the satellite unit in the army.”
03:46 – “I think less than a quarter of the IAI team is women. I really hope this will change in the future and I hope that other women will have the confidence to come and be a part of space engineering because it’s exciting. It’s not easy, it’s very challenging, but it’s very exciting and it’s a great job.”