Made in the 956: McAllen native working on NASA's Artemis 1 rocket launch
A McAllen native is part of the team working on NASA’s Artemis 1 rocket launch.
Debbie Korth, the deputy program manager for the Orion program, is this week’s Made in the 956.
“I was born in '69 and went to Fields Elementary and Travis Junior High and Memorial High School,” Korth said. "So I went to A&M, studied aerospace engineering, and graduated in '91, and came directly to the Houston area to work for a couple of different NASA contractors for about 12 years and then got hired on directly with NASA after that."
It's a career Korth knew she wanted since she was young.
"When I was in junior high, I think the first NASA female astronaut was flown, and so I remember thinking, ‘Wow that's really cool,’” Korth said. “So, I always really liked math and science, and I think in high school when I took my first physics class, I really enjoyed physics.”
Now, Korth is working on the next generation of space missions.
"My goal is, or my job is really to manage the entire NASA workforce that's working on this next-generation spacecraft,” Korth said. “So the Orion spacecraft is the only spacecraft designed for deep-space missions. Space station is about 250 miles up in the air. We're going to the moon, so it's 250,000 miles.”
For all the young boys and girls watching, the sky's the limit.
"In the STEM field specifically, there's a lot of emphasis on young women and getting them into STEM fields and I think it's great,” Korth said. “I never felt any roadblocks growing up. I had a lot of great teachers in the Valley. I felt that they always encouraged me to do whatever. They were never like, ‘Why do you want to do that?’ I have two daughters…and when I talk to my youngest about putting a woman on the moon, she's like, ‘What? One hasn't been there?’ I think that the sky's the limit, as long as you're willing to work hard and put in the effort; I think your opportunities are endless."
Her job may be out of this world, but Debbie Korth is Made in the 956.