L'Team - Featuring Sheila Gray

Dec 16, 2020

While a robot may be the one visiting the Trojan asteroids, people are responsible for getting it there. In L’Team we meet some of the people that make the Lucy Mission possible.

What is your role on the Lucy team?

I am the Lucy Encounter Phase Lead at Lockheed Martin.

Please describe the path you’ve taken to get here.

Started work at Lockheed Martin right after completing my master’s degree in Electrical Engineering on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) program. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to help build, test and fly many other NASA interplanetary spacecraft, 11 missions in total. Prior to Lucy, I worked on NASA’s InSight Mars Lander as a systems engineer, supporting integration efforts as well as launch, cruise and landing mission operations.

What has been your favorite part of the mission?

Well, the Encounters of course! It’s truly amazing to me how many asteroids we will have the opportunity to visit, and that no one has ever visited so many destinations in one mission before!

Best Lucy team memory?

There are quite a few, but they all have the same theme – the team came together and worked hard to create a product or a review package and achieved success. The most fun part about a program is when the team starts to really gel, making the job easier and much more fun!

What Lucy challenges have you overcome? How have you done this?

It’s been quite hard to join the mission late into the planning and design cycle, and come up to speed quickly in order to be able to contribute. I’ve been very lucky that Lucy has such strong and knowledgeable science and engineering team members to learn from and rely on.

Favorite cocktail and why?

Absolute favorite is a margarita from the Rio Grande Mexican restaurant, I think because a lot of good memories from college days in Fort Collins. But more often than not, a good cream ale is my go-to drink.

How would you finish this sentence… The best part of the job is?

Supporting this fantastic mission and helping to ensure it will be a success, while working with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met! There are some really complicated things about this mission and so it is constantly providing a learning opportunity!