Interview with Lien Pham, a ‘Spacecraft Dressmaker’ #space #NASA
Space Daily has a fascinating interview with Lien Pham, who makes thermal blankets at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Lien Pham sometimes thinks of herself as a “spacecraft dressmaker.” She’s been making thermal blankets at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for 16 years. Just as clothing can be sewn too tight or too loose, thermal blankets – the glinting material each spacecraft is wrapped in to regulate its temperature – have to be cut to form. A thermal blanket has to provide just the right amount of heat – not too much and not too little – for the spacecraft to operate correctly.
Pham is a member of Flight Technicians Services, a group at JPL that contributes to all stages of spacecraft assembly. Her particular team, which designs and fabricates the protective thermal blankets, is called the shield shop.
At JPL, a place known for complex engineering, Pham has a different background: she began her career as a seamstress after her family immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam. Her experience behind a sewing machine has informed how she makes thermal blankets.
We sat down to talk with Pham about her life and her work at JPL.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.