NASA has shared a picture of their first deaf engineer Johanna Lucht via its Women@NASA Twitter handle saying, “In 2017, Johanna Lucht became the first deaf engineer to hold an active role in a NASA control center during a crewed mission.”
Johanna Lucht was born deaf and never imagined working for NASA one day. Born in Germany with fewer resources for the impaired, she developed an understanding of Mathematics even before she learned a language.
It was this passion for the subject that eventually led to her studying Computer Science which paved her way to working with NASA. After interning at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Johanna was offered a position at the organisation.
In 2017, she became the first deaf engineer to carry out an active role in a NASA control center during a crewed research flight. She was the systems II engineer for the flight and was responsible for observing and evaluating data related to the aircraft’s GPS and navigating system. According to NASA, she monitored how well the aircraft was doing in flight.
Johanna had worked with an interpreter who conveyed all communications to her and reportedly, excelled in the role. It was the challenges that she had faced as a disabled person, that helped her excel, she believes.
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