“People have said to me, ‘it’s important that you’re the first woman director,’ and I want to say, ‘no, of course not. Women are completely capable of doing anything,” Stofan told Kloss. “But it is important, because I want to inspire that girl that comes into this museum to say ‘I could run the Air and Space Museum — but even more, I could be the first girl to walk on Mars.’”
From 2013 to 2016, she served as NASA’s chief scientist, helping to hone the agency’s plans for launching humans to Mars and steering NASA’s broad portfolio of science programs, which cover everything from astrophysics to Earth science.
“I look at this wall of women and say, these women laid a path for us,” Stofan said, “and all of us are just carrying on what they started.”
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