Inventors are inspirational. Valerie Thomas is an inventor, scientist, mentor, and astronomer. She worked at NASA from 1964 until her retirement 1995. She invented the illusion transmitter and oversaw NASA’s creation of the Landsat program, which is the first satellite to send images to the Earth from space.
Valerie Thomas was born in May of 1943 in Maryland. She attended an all-girl school where her interest in science and technology was not encouraged or fostered. After high school graduation, she attended Morgan State University. She majored in physics. After graduation from Morgan, she became a data analyst at NASA. In the late 1970s she oversaw the creation of the Landsat program and began research and work on her invention of the illusion transmitter. In 1980, she received the patent for the illusion transmitter, which is still used by NASA.
During her career, she worked on several major projects. Her roles included Project Manager of the Space Physics Analysis Network and Associate Chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office. Her work earned her several NASA awards. Her success led her to giving back to students. She became a mentor with the National Association and Science Mathematics Aerospace Research and Technology. Inc. She, also, became an associate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in their Center for Multicore Hybrid Productivity Research.
Be inspired! Have a bright day!