Jessica Ta is a part of the leading effort for rocket reusability to reach Mars. She is living out her childhood dream to impact space exploration at SpaceX as a Test Operations Engineer for the 1st stage Falcon 9 rocket. As a test engineer, she is responsible for testing each booster before launch.
Jessica had taken an interest in space when she was about 8 years old after seeing Saturn through a telescope for the first time. This led her to aim to be an Astrophysicist until College of the Canyons (COC) where she realized this path wasn’t for her. Searching for a new path within the realm of space, she was introduced to SpaceX through the Astronomy and Physics Club. SpaceX became her dream place to work.
Jessica transferred to the University of Michigan and received her bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in December 2016. At University of Michigan, she continued her newfound passion for rockets and joined the rocket team, Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA). On the team, she helped design, build, and test a hybrid rocket engine built to take a rocket to 21,000ft in an annual international rocket competition where they placed 2nd after 2 years of developing the engine. She also led multiple subteams and eventually became the propulsion lead of the team; leading about 40 members. Her experience on the rocket team set her apart from others and gave her the skillset she needed to work at SpaceX.
After graduating from COC in 2014, Jessica has remained close to her club advisor, Teresa Ciardi. Jessica constructed a special physics demonstration for Teresa to use in her classes. Teresa says, “It is the best demonstration I have ever found to show Faraday's Law. I continue to use this demonstration every semester.”