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Diana Trujillo became the first Latina woman to be part of the Academy program. Photo: Wikicommons
Diana Trujillo became the first Latina woman to be part of the Academy program. Photo: Wikicommons

Colombian woman is NASA's new flight director

Diana Trujillo is the first Latina woman to be a NASA flight leader.

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The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) appointed Colombian aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo as one of its new flight directors.

The Colombian will oversee the Artemis program to return to the Moon, the International Space Station (ISS), and commercial crew missions.

"These highly qualified individuals will be responsible for keeping astronauts safe and executing manned spaceflight missions," said NASA Director of Flight Operations Norm Knight.

With this accomplishment, Trujillo became the first Latina to join the agency's Academy program after serving as a supervisor in the integrated planning and sequencing group for surface missions at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Trujillo, 39, will also direct human spaceflight missions from the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and will be in charge of directing research and engineering experts and support personnel around the world, making real-time decisions to keep NASA astronauts safe in space.

"Very happy to be part of this group of flight directors for @Space_station and @NASAArtemis! @NASAPersevere and @MarsCuriosity, Mars will always be in my heart. thank you for everything you taught me for so many years! With much affection" wrote the Colombian on Twitter.

Who is Diana Trujillo? 

Trujillo was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, and earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, with additional studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She is also a graduate of Miami Dade College in Florida and the NASA Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. In 2021, she received the Cross of Boyacá, the highest honor the government of Colombia bestows on its civilians.

Trujillo arrived in Miami, United States, at the age of 17, with $300 and speaking no English. She had to do office cleaning jobs and work in a bakery to pay for her English courses.

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