On Friday, March 29, 2019 at 4pm, Tracy Drain was the special guest reader at Chocolate Storytime. She is a Flight Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs, and the Deputy Chief Engineer for the JUNO mission, which arrived at Jupiter in June 2016.
In her 18 years at JPL, she has participated in the development and operation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (a science/relay orbiter at Mars), the Kepler mission (searching for Exoplanets) and the Juno mission to Jupiter. She is currently the Deputy Project System Engineer for the Psyche mission. Psyche is slated to launch in 2022 to explore the largest known metal asteroid in our solar system. Drain is passionate about space exploration and about encouraging students to consider pursuing exciting careers in STEM fields.
Drain graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kentucky and earned a Master’s Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, both in the field of Mechanical Engineering. As an undergrad at UK, she completed four rotations as an engineering co-op student at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Upon graduating from Ga Tech in 2000, she officially joined the NASA family as a Systems Engineer at JPL.
Chocolate Storytime’s Alicia Randall, alongside Tracy Drain, lead guests in creating a scene from Jupiter using ordinary materials that can be found around the house. Todd Kunioka from The Sidewalk Astronomers brought his H-Alpha telescope for solar observing (sun gazing). Girl Scout Troop 4601 provide cheese and crackers, sweet potato pie, sweet treats and chocolate kisses. Thanks to Girl Scout mom, Tiffany Walker, for her help with preparation and coordination; our always supportive and involved librarian, Melvin Racelis, who took pictures; and the library security who helps to set up every month.