Payload Pioneers 2023: Danielle Rosales

Danielle Rosales’ roots in space go way back.

“After my first visit to NASA Goddard, I knew space was for me and began volunteering there from elementary school through my freshman year of high school,” said Rosales, who is now 28.

At Space Tango, where she’s been since 2018, Rosales said her job as director of strategic engagement involves bringing together different facets of the space community that oftentimes have differing viewpoints, from rideshare providers to NASA to the ISS National Lab and beyond.

Spreading the word: Rosales said she pitches the importance of space to others by highlighting how work in orbit is helping terrestrially on everything from food science to biomedical research.

“The importance of space begins at home on Earth,” she said. “Promoting this means giving others permission to look beyond the perceived confines of an industry.” 

The next generation: Rosales takes an active role mentoring younger space enthusiasts, including making sure people from underrepresented communities who are interested in joining the industry know about all of the opportunities available to them in terms of internships or coaching programs with industry leaders.  

“Sometimes bringing a fresh idea also means opening doors for others, so I often mentor students with a shared passion to evolve the ‘spacescape’ further. I do what I can to have them in the same room that I’m in…to be a participant and not just an observer,” she said.

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