Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts

Scholar Spotlight: Belinda Shreckengost


Astronaut Scholar Belinda Shreckengost (Harvey Mudd College 1999 – 2000) is putting her love of space exploration to the test in the name of planet Earth. The Harvey Mudd alumnus is working as a Thermal Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in Astronautics at the University of Southern California. Through her work, Shreckengost hopes to help society gain a better understanding of Earth in order to take care of our environment.

Shreckengost recently concluded thermal vacuum testing to qualify hardware for flight on a project called Juno, which will launch in 2011 to study Jupiter. The unprecedented mission will perform an in-depth study of the planet to understand its formation, evolution and structure and provide a way of tracing the history of the solar system and the conditions which led to the creation of Earth and mankind.

In the coming year, Shreckengost will also support the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) which will measure carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere to gain a better perspective of its effects on the climate and surroundings. The research will help people make better decisions to ensure climate stability and retain a healthy quality of life.

“Space exploration has always been a part of my life, even when I was young,” Shreckengost said. “I’m looking forward to supporting these projects and to provide a better understanding of our environment. It feels good to do my small part to help sustain our planet.”

Shreckengost is one of many Astronaut Scholar alumni dedicated to helping change the world.