Science communications lead, NASA

Mamta started working for NASA when she still at university, after winning a place on their student education programme.

'I went to school one semester and then to NASA the next, and alternated until I graduated,' she says.

She's worked with the space agency ever since.

Changing career

With a background in science and engineering, Mamta's first full-time position was at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston. Her job saw her working directly with astronauts.

'I was working in the Mission Control centre for the International Space Station and US Space Shuttle missions, and training astronauts for their missions to space,' she says.

'I had to make tough choices and take my career in a direction I never imagined.'

But personal circumstances meant a move to NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.

'I had to make tough choices and take my career in a direction I never imagined,' Mamta says. 'It's tough to go with the flow sometimes, but my best advice is to just follow life's lead.

'Sometimes it works out even better than you thought it would. Sometimes it won't.

'But one thing I've learned is that you can always change it if you want to.'

A new role

Now, Mamta is the lead for Science Communications at NASA's Science Mission directorate.

'That means I no longer engineer instruments to go to Venus, or train astronauts, or bring science data from the Moon back to Earth. 

'I now get to tell the public about those great accomplishments my colleagues continue to perform every day.

'I get to share their excitement and relay the importance of the work we do, for advancing humankind's knowledge.'