Articles, Blog

NASA Hispanic Heritage Month – Oscar Mejia


[ Music ]>>So I actually arrived
in the United States when I was eight years old. So I actually did go to elementary school
in my home country. Which is Nicaragua,
Central America. And I entered second
grade, I went to school in the San Fernando Valley. You know, we would huddle
around and watch the shuttle. We were just fascinated
with the fact that these giant rocket ships
are going out of this world. And, you know, as you grow up,
you have that sense of you want to explore that and
see what that’s like. And really want to
find out what’s out there besides
what’s in our world. And that’s what my fascination
with NASA really grew. NASA airport three, NASA one.>>Go ahead.>>We got word from PI that the. I’m Oscar Mejia, lead F-18
flight operations engineer. And I work for NASA.>>Okay, I’ll be ready.>>But continue with
the wait point. So normal engineering
takes about five, six years to complete
the degree. I actually spent ten
years getting my degree. And that was influenced
because, as I was going through my community college
where we were getting ready to transfer, the terrorist
attacks of 9/11 hit. That actually put all
my education on hold. Because I felt that the nation,
you know, was in a situation where it needed my assistance. And I felt like a burden on
me say, you know, I need help and do something other
than just stand still. And so I disengaged
from education. Went to the military and served. We are ready for a third pass. As an officer and engineer,
my job is to make sure that we get all the data
we need for our scientists. And bring the pilots
home safely. And as your executing the
test cards, I mean, you know, I get little goose bumps
because it really is exciting. You’re going through
a step maneuver. You know, someone.>>[inaudible] is turning in.>>Forty thousand
feet in the air, going 4, 500 miles per hour. And you’re navigating them
and telling them okay, this is what we’re doing. At the same time you’re
keeping them safe. Because there’s other
awareness that we have about the airspace
or what’s going on. Or even the aircraft. They’re consumed with
the maneuvers themselves. And we’re consumed with
the safety and integrity of the aircraft and
instrumentation. Of course, the airspace
around him as well. That when you safely
do your maneuvers and you accomplish your
campaign, you’re just, overall, you’re like, man,
that was exciting. And then you wait
for the next one. Okay, with a few
modifications you’re approved to begin building. Go. Ultimately, as
ambassadors of our profession, when you reach the point in your
life you come back and you say. You got your two astronauts. Hey, everybody, it’s
through all of your support that I’ve been able
to accomplish some of the goals that
I set out to do. We were able to put a parachute
lander program for the kids where they actually got to test. Design. And even present
their particular lander. And tell us how they did it. And some of the challenges
they encountered. Oh, how fast was that? Okay. They love the
hands-on portion. They love exploring
their thought. And I saw them really engage
with each other and try to figure out how to solve
a problem and together. Wow, that is an interesting
design, okay. I’m presently working on X-59
sub-efforts that allowed us to test a lot of the
technologies that are going to be used on the X-59
when it rolls out.>>This is day one QSF flight.>>The goal of X-59 is to go out
there through different states and test the communal response
to its sonic boom signature. [ Jet Sounds ] To figure out what is an
acceptable level of boom? And what is the acceptable way to measure what people feel is
an acceptable level of boom? Copy one minute. And this is going to
lead into us being able to commercially fly supersonic. And really reduce the time it
takes to go from coast to coast or from ocean to ocean.>>Stay with wait point three. Wait point three.>>Rolling in three, two, one.>>So in order for us to
get the same signature boom that the X-59 would
actually produce, there’s a very specific
technique and maneuver that the pilots will do that
allows them to put the rumbles or thumps, if you will,
across the landscape that would mimic what
the X-59 would produce. In an inverted pull down,
you know, back to wings level and pull up to create
recreate that signature that the X-59 will have.>>Okay, complete.>>I know I’m part
of a bigger picture. It really is a multi-billion
dollar industry that we’re putting forward for
all the private sector people. And it’s just a lot
of job creation. And, so even though we’re
testing our technologies with what we have
now, I have no doubt in my mind the private sector
will come up with a way to make it more efficient
based on the guidance and rules we’ve already set up. So, yeah, I look forward to
what these future materials will look like. The engines will look like. What type of super
cool composites, electric hybrid planes
they have. It’s all going to come out
of what we’re doing here now. And, ultimately, we’re all
going to benefit from the fact that we get to where
we need to go faster. Can’t help you with
the airport lines but. [ Music ]

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