Meet the Australian planning flights for the International Space Station

This Australian Mechatronics Engineer took it seriously when her parents said “...the sky is the limit”.

Andrea Boyd is one of five voices that astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will hear up in space. A Mechatronic engineer from the University of Adelaide, Boyd has lived, worked, and studied in over 75 nations, is assisting in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) hosted by Adelaide in 2017, serves in International Astronautical Federation (IAF) committees, has co-authored a new textbook on Space Mining, and is on the Australian of the Year Honour Roll for her volunteer work around the world.

Boyd is the only Australian in a handful of voices who communicate with the ISS, and is based at Europe’s ground control in Cologne, Germany. EuroCom is one of five mission control centres around the world; two are in the United States, one in Russia, one in Japan, and one in Europe.

Her childhood obsession with television program Star Trek sparked a curiosity and interest in space and mechanics that fueled her motivations and aspirations through high school and university. “When I was seven I found out about an after-school science club called Double Helix, run by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. I went every week for years,” said Boyd to Australia Unlimited.

Boyd later went on to attend a holiday program for school students called the South Australian Space school, went on her first student exchange to Italy when she was fifteen, and after graduating high school took a job in Russia at a summer camp. With a keenness for travel and a passion for science it is no surprise Boyd is now living and working overseas for an international space agency.

After hurtling through her career in mine engineering and now the space industry, Boyd is working alongside South Australia’s first NASA astronaut and graduate, Andy Thomas to encourage and inspire young people with an interest in science and engineering.

Boyd has co-founded the Aerospace Futures and Australian Youth Aerospace Forum for year 12 and University students and continues to work with schools, universities and NGOs to motivate young people to pursue ambitious careers and reach for the stars.

Image credit: Andrea Boyd via Mashable.