ispace, incSpacecraft Operations Engineer

When Janelle Wellons graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, she had no idea that it would spark the beginning of a 7 year career operating science instruments and spacecraft at the Moon, Saturn, and our own planet Earth. She is currently a Spaceflight Operations Engineer at ispace, inc. leading routine and critical space operations from the HAKUTO-R Mission Control Center as a Flight Director for the companies’ lunar lander missions.

Previously, Janelle worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Earth-observing missions MAIA, Sentinel-6, and SWOT as well as the Cassini mission to Saturn and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. At JPL she was awarded the Bruce Murray Award for “inspiring students to engage in STEM, quenching their thirst for knowledge, and sparking a curiosity greater than the stars in the sky.” Championing this message has given her the opportunity to engage with and encourage students worldwide as well as to collaborate with organizations such as PBS SciGirls, Nike, Lego, her alma mater and more.

When she isn't on-call to operate robots in space, you can find her exploring her new home in Japan and doing outreach for communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM.


International Astronautical Congress 2023

2-6 October 2023

Baku, Azerbaijan