Diana Trujillo

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Diana Trujillo
Diana Trujillo (29795849390).jpg
Alma materUniversity of Florida
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Known forMars Curiosity Rover
Scientific career
InstitutionsJet Propulsion Laboratory
Goddard Space Flight Center

Diana Trujillo is a Colombian aerospace engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is Mission Lead for the Mars Curiosity rover.


Trujillo was born Jan 4 1980 in Cali in Colombia.[1] Her mother was at medical school when she became pregnant with Trujillo, and left her studies to look after her daughter.[2] She attended Colegio Internacional Cañaverales Colegio Bilingüe, whilst working as a maid to raise money.[1] She immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen with only $300.[3] She started English lessons at the Miami Dade College and worked as a housekeeper to support her studies.[4] She eventually transferred to the University of Florida to continue her studies in engineering.[2] Here, she was encouraged to apply for the NASA Academy, where she was the first immigrant Hispanic woman on the program.[2] She went on to be one of only two people from her NASA Academy cohort to be employed by NASA.[2] Whilst at the NASA Academy, Trujillo visited the University of Maryland where she helped Professor Brian Roberts research how robots would operate in space.[5] She graduated with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering the University of Maryland in 2007. Her story was turned into a children's science book by Kari Cornell and Fatima Khan.[6][7] She was a member of Sigma Gamma Tau.[8]


Trujillo joined NASA in 2008, working at Goddard Space Flight Center on the Constellation program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on human and robotic space missions.[9][1] She has served many roles, including Surface Sampling System Activity Lead and Dust Removal Tool Lead Systems Engineer.[1] She was responsible for ensuring Curiosity's sampling fulfilled its science objectives dust-free whilst maintaining operational safety. The Dust Removal Tool took her six months to develop, and brushes the dust of the surface of Mars to allow scientists to investigate the surface below.[10][11][12][5] It was used on Curiosity's 151st day on Mars.[13] In 2009 she was appointed telecom systems engineer for the Curiosity Rover.[2] Trujillo was responsible for the communications between the spacecraft and scientists on Earth.[14] She has also been Flight Ground Systems Engineer and Vehicle System Testbed Mars Surface Lead.[15][16] She was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the rover landed on Mars.[17] In 2014, Trujillo was promoted to Mission Lead.[2][18][19][20] That year, she was listed as in the 20 most influential Latinos in the Technology Industry.[21]

She has been involved in several initiatives to inspire young people from Latin America to pursue a career in science and engineering.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] She took part in discussion about Hidden Figures at the University of Southern California alongside Octavia Spencer and Pharrell Williams.[32][33][34][35] She is a mentor for the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which she created with her husband Will Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic.[36][37] She was awarded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bruce Murray Award for Excellence in Education and Public Engagement. She featured on CBS' 2018 celebration of Women's History Month.[38]


  1. ^ a b c d "Diana Trujillo's Martian Profile". mars.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Diana Trujillo, Aerospace Engineer – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  3. ^ "Trujillo - MDC College Forum - Volume 19, Number 5". www.mdc.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. ^ "Diana Trujillo". Brooke Owens Fellowship Program. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  5. ^ a b A., Cornell, Kari (April 2016). Mars science lab engineer Diana Trujillo. Minneapolis. ISBN 9781467797221. OCLC 907585966.
  6. ^ "NSTA Recommends :: STEM Trailblazer Bios: Mars Science Lab Engineer Diana Trujillo". www.nsta.org. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  7. ^ "Mars Science Lab Engineer Diana Trujillo – ReadingWithYourKids.com". readingwithyourkids.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  8. ^ "Sigma Gamma Tau: Members". aero.umd.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ "Celebrating Latinas in STEM: Diana Trujillo, NASA... - smithsonianlvm". Smithsonian Latino Center. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  10. ^ "NASA: Curiosity Mars Rover brush at work". WTVR.com. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. ^ EFE. "La colombiana Diana Trujillo dirige misión de la NASA". El Sentinel (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  12. ^ "Diana Trujillo, colombiana que dirige el camino de exploración del Curiosity - EFE Futuro América". EFE Futuro América (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  13. ^ Echeverry, Manuel (2015-06-03). "Diana Trujillo, una colombiana jefa de misiones del Curiosity en la NASA" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  14. ^ "Diana Trujillo: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab engineer. Mars Curiosity team member. First-time dog owner". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  15. ^ "Latinas in the US Speaker Biographies" (PDF). White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  16. ^ Interview with Diana Trujillo, systems engineer, retrieved 2018-03-31
  17. ^ "WE LANDED ON MARS - Martian Chronicles". Martian Chronicles. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  18. ^ "Meet Diana Trujillo: Colombian Behind NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Functions". Latin Times. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  19. ^ "National Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Diana Trujillo #HispanicHeritageMonth". Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!. 2016-10-15. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  20. ^ "Diana Trujillo, la caleña que supervisa en la NASA las misiones del robot que envía información desde Marte". Colombia New York (in Spanish). 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  21. ^ "Diana Trujillo, líder de misión del Mars Curiosity, NASA". CNET en Español (in Spanish). 2014-09-16. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  22. ^ "Una colombiana triunfa en la NASA". Telemundo 52 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  23. ^ American Latino (2016-09-07), Diana Trujillo - Colombian Exploring the World and Mars | America Latino, retrieved 2018-03-31
  24. ^ Carlos Sarmiento (2014-05-20), Interview with Diana Trujillo NASA, retrieved 2018-03-31
  25. ^ IDB, el BID-the (2016-01-13), Diana Trujillo - From Cali to Mars, retrieved 2018-03-31
  26. ^ "Diana Trujillo, Aerospace Engineer | AOL.com". www.aol.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  27. ^ Univision Noticias (2015-05-17), "Vamos a llevar al hombre a Marte": Ingeniera de la NASA Diana Trujillo, retrieved 2018-03-31
  28. ^ "You are being redirected..." g1dpicorivera.org. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  29. ^ "Diana Trujillo" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2018-09-16. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  30. ^ MAKERS. "Diana Trujillo". MAKERS. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  31. ^ "Hecho en América: Diana Trujillo, la colombiana que está detrás de las exploraciones en Marte". www.univision.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  32. ^ CKelly (2017-01-24). "Unlock the door – we can let ourselves in". Virgin. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  33. ^ "Hidden Figures screening inspires talk about math and representation - USC News". news.usc.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  34. ^ "USC Partners with #GirlsBuildLA for 'Hidden Figures' Screening to Celebrate Girls in STEM". 2017-01-09. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  35. ^ "L.A.'s teenage girls find representation at 'Hidden Figures' screening - USC Rossier School of Education". USC Rossier School of Education. 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  36. ^ "Brooke Owens Fellowships will boost women in aerospace (and we're helping)". GeekWire. 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  37. ^ "Our Team". Brooke Owens Fellowship Program. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  38. ^ "CBS Cares - Women's History Month: Jo Handelsman, Diana Trujillo and Knatokie Ford". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.