. 24/7 Space News .
Illinois Native Uses Experience On Farm To Build Deep Space Rocket
by Tracy McMahan for MSFC News
Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 11, 2019

Julie Bassler leads the team building complex rocket stages that will power NASA's new super heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The 212-foot SLS core stage is made of five large structures that are manufactured and then assembled to form the core stage. This stage not only has two large fuel tanks that provide more than 500,000 galloons of propellant, but also includes all the complex propusion systems needed to feed fuel to four RS-25 engines that produce 2 million pound of thrust. The stage houses the flight computers and avionics systems that guide the rocket for its first 8.5 minutes of flight as it launches and travels to space. Bassler's team is building the core stage at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans inside a rocket factory that is 43 acres, big enough to hold 31 professional football fields.

Milking cows and baling hay might have more to do with rocket science than you think.

Growing up on a working dairy farm in rural Breese, Illinois, NASA engineer Julie Bassler watched planes fly overhead as she worked in the fields.

"As a child, the closest I ever got to seeing big cities was watching the airplanes that flew over our farm headed to their destinations," Bassler said. "I would think, 'I want to do that,' and so my first dream was to be an airline pilot."

When Bassler left the farm for college, she took her work ethic that she learned from her parents with her. After two years studying engineering at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Bassler focused on aerospace engineering at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology in St. Louis, Missouri, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1988. She went on to earn a master's degree in physical science-space science from the University of Houston in Texas in 1992.

"I remember sitting at my house in between classes the day the space shuttle Challenger accident happened. Watching the news coverage that day made a huge impact on me. I knew I wanted to be part of the team at NASA to get back to flight," Bassler said.

Today, as the manager of the stages office for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Bassler has surpassed her wildest dreams. She and her team are responsible for all facets of the SLS core stage, the world's largest rocket stage being built today, and Exploration Upper Stage, the advanced rocket stage that will make it possible to send even larger cargos to the Moon, Mars and even farther from Earth.

Bassler relates a lot of the work she does at NASA with the work she did on her family's farm.

"It takes a team to get everything done on a farm. When someone needs help, you jump in to plow the field for them or let them borrow the equipment they need to do it. We all work together until the job is done. We work hard, but we play hard, too. We celebrate when it rains because that means the crops will grow and we get to relax and enjoy the day," she said.

When it comes to building America's most powerful rocket, team members help each other out and don't stop until the job is done. Moments of celebration and relaxation are necessary, too. Bassler said she leaves room in her schedule to talk to her team and to allow them to "speak their truths."

"Everyone here knows they're not in this alone," she said. "We are all part of the NASA family and the work is hard, but it is worth the end goal."

There's more to building a rocket than manufacturing the flight hardware, and Bassler's team oversees the refurbishing and activation of test stands, ground support systems and transportation equipment for the rocket's structural test articles. Bassler and her team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, also work with teams across the nation to test and build the rocket. The core stage is being built at the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and will be shipped to the Stennis Space Center near Bay St Louis, Mississippi for a first time integrated hot fire test, called green run. After this major test, the core stage will be shipped and launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

When completed, the SLS rocket will send the Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon, about 280,000 miles from Earth. This is farther from Earth than any spacecraft built for humans has ever traveled.

Bassler's personal experience spans the areas of human spaceflight, robotic missions, science payloads and technology development. Her career has prepared her for the everyday decisions she makes for SLS. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Exceptional Achievement Medal, Space Flight Awareness Award, Silver Achievement Medal, and multiple special service and group achievement awards.

She and her husband Brad have four children and live in New Market, Alabama. Her brother runs her family's farm in Breese.

Now, as Bassler looks overhead at the planes flying over her New Market home, she says to herself, "We will fly higher than even those big-city planes in the sky."

Related Links
Space Launch System
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

German engineers produce and test 3D-printed rocket engine
Berlin (Sputnik) Mar 05, 2019
The new method will allow the weight and production cost of a rocket to be reduced, while increasing payload and implementing more sophisticated cooling systems. German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in collaboration with SLM Solutions, have successfully created a rocket engine, called BERTA, fully assembled using 3D-printing technology. The engine, which will be used in an Ariane 6 modular rocket developed by the ArianeGroup for the European Space Agency (ESA), is capable of delivering satellites to geos ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

The First Humans in Space

New Moon-Mars mission in progress at HI-SEAS habitat

NASA, Roscosmos reach consensus on Dragon unmanned flight to ISS

Russia to Invest Over $450,000 in Development of Backpack Vacuum Cleaner for ISS

German engineers produce and test 3D-printed rocket engine

N. Korea rocket site appears 'operational' again: US experts

D-orbit signs framework agreement with Firefly to acquire launch capacity

Raytheon awarded $63.3M for hypersonic weapons system research

Simulated extravehicular activity science operations for Mars exploration

Mars InSight Lander's 'Mole' Pauses Digging

UCF research laying groundwork for off-world colonies

InSight's "Mole" Starts Hammering into the Martian Soil

China improves Long March-6 rocket for growing commercial launches

Seed of moon's first sprout: Chinese scientists' endeavor

China to send over 50 spacecraft into space via over 30 launches in 2019

China to deepen lunar exploration: space expert

ISRO to Launch Nearly 30 Satellites in March on New PSLV Rocket

GMV controls the first satellites of OneWeb's mega-constellation

ESA approves SMILE mission with the Chinese Academy of Sciences

OneWeb Makes History as First Launch Mission Is a Success

Matrix could ensure vital copper supplies

Nanotechnology and sunlight clear the way for better visibility

Electrically-heated silicate glass appears to defy Joule's first law

It's all in the twist: Physicists stack 2D materials at angles to trap particles

Kepler's First Exoplanet Candidate Confirmed, 10 Years After Launch

The case of the over-tilting exoplanets

Exiled planet linked to stellar flyby 3 million years ago

NASA-funded research creates DNA-like molecule to aid search for alien life

SwRI-led New Horizons research indicates small Kuiper Belt objects are surprisingly rare

Astronomers Optimistic About Planet Nine's Existence

New Horizons Spacecraft Returns Its Sharpest Views of Ultima Thule

Tiny Neptune Moon Spotted by Hubble May Have Broken from Larger Moon

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.