2021 GOVERNMENT INNOVATION AWARDS

Rising Star: Sasha Samochina

Group Manager, Data Visualization and Infusion NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Sasha Samochina NASA Rising Star 

Sasha Samochina's rare mix of technological expertise, business skills and creativity has made her a powerful force in NASA and the broader space community. Although she recently left the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a private-sector opportunity, the impact of her efforts are lasting and substantial.

For example, she played a key role in pioneering the ProtoSpace software package, which layers engineering designs on the Microsoft HoloLens mixed-reality headset to provide immersive visualization capabilities for science missions. Its success on missions such as the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has laid the groundwork for operationalizing the capability as an IT enterprise service at NASA.

Samochina's focus on experiential technology that incorporates innovative forms of visualization has also made its way into content she created for communication channels and the Mars Curiosity rover. She put together the first 360-degree video released on NASA's social media, for example. In addition, she directs some of her boundless energy to encouraging young people — especially women and girls — to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

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