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Diana Trujillo, an aerospace engineer, is currently Technical Group Supervisor for Sequence Planning and Execution and a Tactical Mission Lead for the Mars Perseverance rover. Born and raised in Colombia, Trujillo immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 17 to pursue her dream of working for NASA. While enrolled in English-as-a-second-language courses, she also worked full time to support her studies in community college and later the University of Florida and University of Maryland. She has held several roles for NASA and JPL, including Mars Curiosity rover mission lead, deputy project system engineer, and Deputy Team Chief of Engineering Operations on Curiosity. Trujillo has also been active in sharing the excitement and opportunities of STEM with the public. She co-created and hosted #JuntosPerseveramos, NASA’s first-ever Spanish-language live broadcast of a planetary landing, for Perseverance’s arrival on Mars, which attracted millions of viewers worldwide.
On Oct. 8, 2021, Trujillo and two other Latina engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be honored as the 2021 recipients of STEM Awards from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for their significant roles in the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission during the 34th Hispanic Heritage Awards broadcast on PBS.
In this image, Trujillo celebrates the completion of a successful shift as flight director, as the first photograph taken on the surface of Mars confirmed the successful deployment of Ingenuity, the first helicopter ever delivered to the surface of another planet.
Image Credit: NASA