Veteran Spotlight: Meet SNC Systems Engineer, Rodrigo B.
November 10, 2020
In honor of Veterans Day, all month long Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is celebrating our explorers and heroes who served in the armed forces. In fact, 30% of SNC employees are veterans.
Today, we’re getting to know Rodrigo B. The systems engineer has been with SNC for nearly a year after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Prior to college, Rodrigo spent four and a half years serving in the Marines. He was honorably discharged and awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Bronze star as well as a NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, for supporting a NATO general during combat operations.
Why do you think it’s important to serve our country?
It is important to serve your country for several reasons, one of them being it broadens your understanding of the world by traveling. My deployment in Afghanistan gave me the opportunity to understand what we truly have in the United States compared to the rest of the world. Serving this country helps you appreciate and recognize what it means to live in such an amazing country of opportunity and prosperity.
How did you hear about Sierra Nevada Corporation?
During my first semester at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University I was working on hybrid rocket engine research with a space company called Terrain Science Group (TSG). This was in the Mojave Air and Space Port. Not far from us was the Dream Chaser® spaceplane performing test runs on the runway at Edwards Air Force Base. I was lucky enough to witness the test! That was my first experience learning about SNC and the amazing Dream Chaser spaceplane!
30% of employees at SNC are veterans. Why is that important to you?
It shows me SNC appreciates the training all veterans receive while serving. It gives me a sense of being appreciated for not only the work I am currently tasked to complete but also the hard work that we provided in the past.
What is your current role at SNC?
Like everyone else on the Dream Chaser program, I have more than one area of responsibility. Right now, I primarily work with the flight software integration team on pushing updates to our software documents. They need to be updated whenever there are changes to our design for any component on Dream Chaser. My other roles consist of being the point of contact for the instrumentation program and command (IPCL) list. It’s the software commands and telemetry we want to send to the International Space Station. These commands let the crew onboard know exactly what’s going on during a Dream Chaser approach.
What about SNC inspires you and makes you want to stay with the company?
The biggest aspect of SNC that inspires me and makes me want to stay with the company is the opportunities that are up for grabs for those that strive for more. To me, SNC gives you the right conditions to develop new skills and knowledge and making you a more valuable contributor to the program.
Why is space exploration so important to you?
Space exploration is incredibly important to me because it gives me hope for my future family to have the opportunity to not only work in space, but also live and explore. Space exploration is a passion of mine, as I am sure it is the same for my coworkers and all of us are that much more excited to see Dream Chaser launch and provide further capabilities for both cargo and human transportation.
If you could travel to space with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
If I could travel to space with one person, dead or alive, it would be my grandmother. She raised me from the very beginning and has been my rock ever since. She passed away two months ago from COVID-19 and I miss her too much too ever put into words. My grandmother was a very religious woman and always looked up to the sky and prayed for my family and me. I would have loved to travel to space with her, show her the world as a whole, and allow her to take in the amazing architecture that her god created for us all.
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.