The women working to save our planet

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The original short film “We Need Space” details the declining relationship between earth and its human inhabitants.

Released on Earth Day, April 22, the film features women working on the frontlines of space exploration efforts because according to NASA, the only way to improve the relationship with our planet is to learn more about the things beyond it.

Three women in the film spoke to Refinery29 about their experiences in the space program, the misconceptions of their jobs, and how their jobs help improve our relationship with the planet.

Julia Levy, 25, works as a Propulsion Development Engineer for Virgin Orbit. Her job is to make sure the engine is healthy and collecting all the data they need.

Eshwari Murty, 25, works as a Microdevices Engineer for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She currently works on two instruments on the Mars 2020 rover: Moxie, an instrument to convert the Mars atmosphere into oxygen and the EDL camera, a series of cameras to capture the whole landing process of the rover.

Lastly, Nimisha Mittal, 32, works as a Spaceflight Operations Test Engineer also for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She currently works on the InSight mission to Mars, which is launching in three weeks. This mission is intended to study seismic activity on the surface of Mars.

All three women are changing the way that we view space studies.

“A lot of people imagine movies where mission control is all these men in white short-sleeve button-ups with shaved heads and that’s space. Maybe it was that way at one point, it’s not anymore,” Levy said in the Refinery29 interview.

“We Need Space” not only sheds light on the realities of climate change, but it also praises the female engineers who are crucial in the effort to learn more about other planets in order to save our own.

On campus, there are several ways to get involved with to save the planet. Starting April 23, join SMU’s Sustainability Committee for the first-ever Earth Week, featuring on-campus programming for a full week. Additionally, SMU Environmental Society is hosting Barefoot on the Boulevard Thursday, April 26. Receive a free eco-friendly reusable water bottle if you come to at least two events.

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