Meet Diana Trujillo, a trailblazing flight director for NASA's Mars Perseverance rover

NASA aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo came to the U.S. with only $300 and worked housekeeping jobs to pay for school. Now, she's a flight director for the Mars Perseverance rover.

Video Transcript

DIANA TRUJILLO: Understanding if we're alone in the universe is the ultimate question. I hope that within the one year of surface operations on Mars, we can answer that question soon.

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I didn't see it as, "I can't believe I'm doing this job at night," or, "I can't believe that I'm cleaning, I can't believe that I'm cleaning a bathroom right now." It was just more like, "I'm glad that I have a job, and I can buy food and have a house to sleep." And so I think that all of those things make me, and even today, helps me see life differently. I see it more as every instant I need to be present because every instance matters.

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I know I'm not walking in there alone. I'm walking in there and every single thing that I do, I'm representing my country, my culture, my heritage, my people, and I have to give my best every single time.

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And the more hers there are, the more engineers and scientists that are Latin are out there, the more chances we have for those kids to have la chispa, in where they say, "I want to be that." And here's one more thing for this, we need to amplify this more, it can't stay just on the Spanish show that I did. I think that he has to-- the abuelas, the moms, the dads, the uncles, the primos, everybody has to see this, and they have to see a woman in there too. So that they can turn around to younger generations, say, "she can do it, you can do it."