Meet the Woman Quickly Making Her Way up The Ladder Toward the Race For Space

The race to space has always been a huge part of all of our lives for more then half a century. First there was space itself, then landing on the moon, and perhaps sooner then we think, Mars? Well an aerospace engineer who is barely ten years out of graduating from MIT is showing great promise for the future in the world of space travel.

Meet Shana Diez, an engineer who has helped design and built a spacecraft that transports cargo to and from the International Space station. Situated at SpaceX in Los Angeles, she is now working on a model that could be out for orbit as soon as 2018.

As a high school student trying to find the perfect college, Diez said what made her choose MIT as her place of study was because it was the only school where she actually saw students building something. These skills that she gained are certainly not going unnoticed.

“I tell people the most important thing I learned at MIT was how to independently solve a problem — and not a cookie-cutter problem or problem set. No, at MIT it was like: ‘Here is a problem. Nobody knows how to make this work. Nobody knows how to analyze this. Go figure it out."

Diez worked at the Space Shuttle Program at NASA in Florida after graduating from MIT, followed by working at a private company in Washington whose focus was spaceflight. Her main home throughout most of her career has been SpaceX, and while there she has had the opportunity to lead the reusability efforts for the SpaceX Grasshopper. She is now the company director of building reliability. Reach up high Shana! You are certainly going to do great things for the future.