I’m Luca, a Colorado native and aerospace engineering PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and I’ve always dreamed of being an astronaut! In the past, I’ve worked in Mission Operations for NASA missions, and now I’m doing research that will hopefully help make living in space easier. I hope to one day design medical systems for astronauts going to the moon and Mars (and maybe go there myself!). Outside of school, I love reading, writing, doing art, and exploring the outdoors.
What inspired you to explore STEM when you were young?
I’ve always been fascinated by space, and wanted to become an astronaut ever since I was very young. On top of that, my dad is an engineer and my mom is a scientist, so I always was interested in what they did, and getting to explore the natural world on camping trips and hikes throughout my childhood fueled my curiosity.
What do you enjoy most about what you do in your STEM career?
My motto is “you learn something new every day,” and this is my favorite part of working in STEM! Working with other scientists and engineers, we’re always asking new questions and seeking answers; STEM pushes us to always keep exploring and teaches us something new every day.
What is a fun, bizarre or insightful STEM fact about your field?
Since 2000, there has not been a single second of time where there was not at least one human being in outer space. Even right now, there are several astronauts on the International Space Station, flying over our heads at 17,400 miles per hour, and they experience 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day!