Many dream of becoming an astronaut. Julie Mason is on her way to making it happen. The Boeing space propulsion engineer out of Huntsville, Alabama, hopes to launch herself to the moon — or beyond.
“The first time I experienced microgravity, I floated to the top with a huge smile on my face,” she said. “I actually looked and felt like an astronaut.”
Julie sees close correlation between her everyday work and her astronaut aspirations.
“Being at Boeing allows me to participate in cutting-edge propulsion research, where I get to lead and work in teams to solve challenging problems,” she said. “I’m currently working on a propulsion test program that could benefit NASA’s Human Lander System for a 2024 lunar mission.”
Julie’s astronautic aspirations began when her parents took her to a launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when she was 12. In high school, she attended Space Camp in Huntsville. Then while double-majoring in engineering and French in college, she was selected to participate in the NASA Flight Opportunities Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, working side by side with NASA engineers and scientists in the microgravity program. Her power-packed college career also included her introduction to Boeing via a Seattle internship.
“I just loved the culture and the people. I felt like I was constantly learning from everyone around me and that Boeing was a place where I could grow and become a better engineer,” she said.
In her final semester in 2012, she got a letter she’ll never forget.
“I remember carrying around my Boeing offer letter through the halls because I was so excited. It was a dream come true to come to Huntsville, where I spent time at Space Camp as a kid, and work as a propulsion engineer. It truly felt like I was coming full circle.”