Nagin is a Space Systems Engineer who has been exploring since her teenage years when she decided to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Nagin was born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Throughout her career, she has held leadership and system engineering positions on interplanetary robotic missions, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Kepler exoplanet hunter, InSight, the Mars Curiosity Rover, and currently, the 2020 Perseverance Rover. Nagin is also a Tactical Mission Lead for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover and the Mars Curiosity Rover.
As a MOXIE (Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment) team member, Nagin prototyped a way of making oxygen on Mars from the Martian atmosphere. Her contributions to the field have earned her the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals. She is also a U.S. Department of State STEM Speaker, having spoken at various events around the world, including the TED Talk website, where her lecture on Mars Time has been viewed over two million times (https://www.ted.com/talks/nagin_cox_what_time_is_it_on_mars).
Before her time at JPL, Nagin served in the US Air Force, including duty as a Space Operations Officer at NORAD/US Space Command. She holds engineering degrees from Cornell University and the Air Force Institute of Technology and a psychology degree from Cornell. Nagin is a past member of Cornell University’s President’s Council for Cornell Women and has served on the Boards of the Griffith Observatory Foundation and Impact Personal Safety: Self-Defense & Empowerment for Women. She also sits on the Advisory Committee for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and is part of the Advisory Council for the Planetary Society. Nagin is even the namesake for Asteroid 14061.
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