We are many who share the dream of exploring the infinity around us. But only a few reaches their ultimate goal of becoming an astronaut. One of the big dreamers is Anna Hidalgo Larsson. At the age of 16 she began her ambitious space career. Nine years later she is graduating from the Engineering Physics program at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, with a master's degree in Aerospace Engineering. During the last couple of months, she’s been writing her master thesis at SSC as part of the company’s AWARE project. We asked Anna about her time at SSC and what the future holds.
You have surely covered a lot during your early space years. Can you guide us through it?
“I have been interested in space for more than 10 years and I’ve always dreamed about becoming an astronaut. This led me to leave my hometown Huskvarna for Kiruna in northern Sweden when I was 16 years old. There I attended the Upper Secondary School of Space (Rymdgymnasiet). After my time there I actually did an internship at Esrange where I worked for six months. Today I’m currently studying my last year of the Engineering Physics program with a MSc in Aerospace Engineering at KTH in Stockholm. It is really fun to now be back at SSC for my master thesis work.”
Can you tell us more about your master thesis?
“I am doing my master thesis within the AWARE project which is part of SSC’s SSA program. The goal of the thesis is to simulate ground-based SST (Space Surveillance and Tracking) images as they would look like if taken from a professional telescope.”
What have you found most exciting about the project?
“The most interesting part of the AWARE thesis project has been applying all the theory I have studied to a real project. The thesis work mixes a lot of different scientific topics; from orbital mechanics and programming, to telescopes, optics, and signal processing. Just to mention some of them. The project really challenges my problem-solving skills which has been a lot of fun. It has also been exciting to learn more about space situational awareness and how important this is for ensuring the continued usage of space technologies. This is an area which will only continue to grow in the coming years, because it addresses problems that need to be solved in order to secure a sustainable future for satellites and spacecrafts.”
Looking forward, what are your goals and dreams?
“After my graduation this summer I hope to continue working with developing space technologies and being able to contribute to sustainable space flight. And then we have the dream of becoming an astronaut which has not faded. Right now I’m not qualified to apply, but maybe for the next selection if such would take place in another ten years. We’ll see, there are so many interesting projects happening within the space sector and I am eager to see what the future holds.”
We are many who dream about the stars. But only a handful get the opportunity to go there themselves. Fortunately, there are many ways of exploring space. Every space mission needs well-functioned space organizations and their essential researchers, engineers, operators and other staff.
For Anna the dream of becoming an astronaut continues. And she is certainly facing a bright future.
Read more about Anna and her dream of becoming an astronaut:
Don’t let your own space dream go unanswered. You might as well be the one that takes space to the next level. Keep an eye open for our vacancies: https://sscspace.com/career/vacancies/