Astronaut Scholars Working on Mission to Mars
Belinda Shreckengost received the Astronaut Scholarship in 1999 from Harvey Mudd College where she was studying engineering and mathematical statistics.
“I was both excited and honored to receive my scholarship in 1999, when I realized this organization of history-making astronauts and space enthusiasts was recognizing me for my potential in STEM and future work in aerospace. The money itself was critical in helping me fund my college education, but the inspiration continues to drive me today. I’m so grateful to be part of the ASF alumni and have the opportunity to connect with fellow members - but I consider myself truly privileged to participate in the ASF mentoring program and be part of the journey for the next generation.”
Belinda currently is a Thermal Systems Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and joined the Mars 2020 mission in 2015. She supported the project through the design phase, hardware fabrication, assembly, and hardware testing. Belinda is responsible for verifying that the system can maintain spacecraft temperatures within acceptable limits – both during the Cruise to Mars and during Rover surface operations.
“Thermal Engineering is an often-overlooked discipline in aerospace education but is integral to system design and operations. I found my path from a mentor who introduced me to this wide-ranging field, and I hope to do the same for someone else.”