BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – As NASA eyes November 2024 to send four astronauts into space on the 10-day Artemis ll moon mission, we’re learning more about one of the female engineers who’s working to get that group off the ground.
Amanda Stevenson is the lead for the Artemis II service module assembly in the Orion Production Operations Office at Kennedy Space Center.
She oversees the technical progress for assembly, integration and production operations. She also checks on the Orion spacecraft, taking a look at the flight hardware and making sure risks are minimized.
“There is that balance between paving the way, which is what NASA does, you know, we have to lean forward and take risks, but never at the expense of safety for either our crew or our flight hardware,” Stevenson said.
According to Stevenson, she sometimes can’t believe that she has a hand in eventually sending the first woman to the moon.
“When I was going through school, it was like, ‘Oh how awesome would it have been to be on the first shuttle mission or the first Apollo mission,’ but then you turn around and say, ‘Wait a minute, I am. I’m a part of Artemis l and Artemis ll, so I’m one of those people, not only people, but women, that are pioneering the way for that,” Stevenson said.
During the overwhelming days at work, she said she has to take a step back and remember she’s playing a part in history.
Stevenson grew up in Winter Park and said her family didn’t have a lot of money. She was the first in her family to go to college.
“I was very interested in space, you know, having the space shuttle program and Kennedy Space Center always in our backyard,” she said.
When she went to school, she said she was really into math and science. She got a physics degree and studied astronomy at the University of Central Florida before getting her master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
She started her career with NASA in 2013 at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked on Artemis l before making her way back to Central Florida and Kennedy Space Center in 2019.
Stevenson said she would love to see more women in space and getting into STEM fields.
“The opportunities are there. Just stay in school obviously, and listen to your gut. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything because you definitely can,” Stevenson said.