“When I was a kid, I grew up watching the Moon landings. I remember watching Neil Armstrong land on the Moon, step on the lunar surface. … And so, as a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. That was the thing – everybody wanted to be an astronaut. As I grew up, I kind of lost track of that between everything, living life and whatnot.
“And so, a few years ago, when the pandemic hit, I was working for a construction contractor. Work stopped. There was nothing for me, and they laid me off. And I decided that I was due for a career change, and I wanted to get into aerospace. And I targeted, I worked very hard to find this job and to come work here.
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“So here I am, a transgender woman, an engineer, working at Kennedy Space Center, and I get to work around these really smart, wonderful people, supporting the Artemis mission, sitting in the control room during the launch. And as a member of the LGBTQ community, I work with the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group and I try to be visible, to show folks who may still be in the closet that one can live their authentic life and be a part of something so amazing.
“I came across a picture of me when I was probably 10. … I’ve lived in Florida most of my life, so I [would] come over here on Scouting trips. I have a picture of me as a kid standing out [on] – it’s probably pad A – and the best I can figure, it’s Apollo 14 sitting on the pad behind me. So, I get a picture of me as a kid with [an] Apollo rocket behind me and I’ve had several pictures of me with the Artemis I rocket. … Just being able to be a part of this is amazing.”
— Amy Lendian, Systems Engineering Supervisor, Amentum Spaceport, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
Image Credit: NASA / Kim Shiflett
Interviewer: NASA / Michelle Zajac
By: Thalia Patrinos
Originally published at NASA
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