Shooting for the Moon

In honour of International Women’s Day 2018 we proudly share the incredible career of Adelaide-born, Andrea Boyd.

From South Australia’s capital to the dark depths of space, engineer Andrea Boyd’s Aussie accent is one of the few voices astronauts hear in space.

Based in Cologne, Germany, Andrea is the only Australian working in the International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control team worldwide. Andrea is living her dream as an ISS Flight Operations Engineer at the European Space Agency – Europe’s gateway to space. An excellent achievement!

If you’ve ever seen the film Apollo 13, you probably remember the line “Houston, we have a problem.” Boyd is that person, the ‘Houston’. At each of the mission controls, only one person can talk to the astronauts in space, Andrea. The ISS is mankind’s laboratory for science experiments in outer space. Andrea’s workdays are spent monitoring up to 200 science experiments running at the same time, this does not sound like an easy task!

It was a Mechatronic Engineering degree at the University of Adelaide that began her exciting career. Growing up in Adelaide, Boyd used to watch the television program Star Trek: Voyager religiously, and adored the character of B’elanna Torres, who was the Chief Engineer on the show. This inspired her interest in space and subsequently helped her decide that she wanted to make everything electrical and mechanical work in space. For the past four years, that is exactly what she has done.

Andrea was part of the International Engagement bid team that secured Adelaide as the host of the International Astronautical Conference last year. Winning the bid took almost five years of work and the Adelaide team was competing against major cities in the United States, Germany, Ireland and Turkey for the event.

South Australia has a rapidly growing space innovation ecosystem and is well placed to become Australia’s hub for future space industry development. Already home to over 60 space-related organisations, South Australia is committed to further growing the local industry to create a thriving space ecosystem. Read more here.