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Share Your Story • Allison Willingham • November 29, 2012

Swirls of cosmic space stuff

Swirls of cosmic space stuff

When I was in elementary school my parents would often watch PBS shows with us, one of which was NOVA. I don't remember which particular image first sparked my passion for space, but it was most likely one of those bright, colorful ones from the Hubble Space Telescope. I remember looking at pictures of galaxies, the Eagle nebula, planets like marbles against the infinite backdrop of space, while some TV voice-over told us how little we knew about our universe. Curiosity drew me toward learning everything I could about those mysterious swirls of cosmic space stuff. Of course at the time I was told that I would never be able to follow that path because I wasn't good at math. Only much later, as I was entering college and found that I wasn't as horrible at calculus as I was at arithmetic, did I start actively pursuing a track that would lead me to the start of a career at NASA. Now I can contribute to more wonderful pictures that can spark the curiosity of a new generation of explorers.

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