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Faces of Technology: Meet Christy Hansen

You’re on there and you can hear like the drum of the engines that go, “whir-ir-ir-ir.” And it’s freezing cold. Being there in real time while the plane is flying, to me, is the most exciting, beautiful and scary part. My name is Christy Hansen and I work with scientists and engineers to put scientific instrumentation on NASA airplanes to study Earth sciences all over the planet. In order to do the science in a remote location, we have to know can the airplane be sustained; figuring out what instruments we want to fly; the proper measurements.

We understand Earth now. If we can understand how it’s changing, then we might know what the planet will be like in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I love human spaceflight. So, that and a stunt woman. I wanted to be like Wonder Woman’s stunt double when I was little. And I started reading online you know about flying airplanes in remote regions. So the Antarctic Peninsula; up in Fairbanks, Alaska. And that immediately brought out the adventurous side of me.

I like to get my hands dirty. I enable the scientists to do the work that they’re doing. We got the science, but we have to factor in safety and cold-weather gear. If I could give that experience to everybody, I would love to be able to do that. .

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