Randii's Open Road


    Team BNE


    Pasadena, CA


    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:


Astronautics Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

“You only have two choices: You coast and do nothing (in which case, you've really just wasted your life force), or you try things. And maybe some things will fail. Maybe some things will succeed. But if you don't try, you'll never find those things that work out.”


Engineering Science


Failure Exploration Fulfillment Experience Character Culture Passion Hard Work Perseverance


Learning / Challenging Myself


advice, caliber, dark energy, dark matter, galaxies, hardship, jack of all trades, meaning, measure, perspective, rejection, robotics, Saturn, school, siblings, skills, space, tough times, universe, voyager


  • His dad used to always tell him that he had only two rules: find a career you love, and marry someone who can cook.
  • He knew he was interested in the sciences, but he wasn't sure which field he liked best, so he studied a wide array of subjects.
  • Finally, a class called "Intelligent Life in the Universe" caught his interest.
  • One day, the professor asked the class if anyone was interested in a non-paid, non-college-credit assistant position.
  • He was the only person to raise his hand, so he got the job; from there, that professor got him a spot on NASA's Voyager project.
  • Although he's working in one of the most prestigious labs in the world, he says it hasn't been a completely smooth road.
  • He has rejection letters from the shuttle astronaut program (15 of them!), from a number of grad schools, and even from JPL.
  • However, he just kept pushing, and always said "yes" to everything; his motto is: "Those who dare, risk defeat. Those who don't, ensure it."

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