I was born in Bucharest, Romania. I have completed my studies in geodesy and geoinformatics with specialisation on the application of geodesy in aerospace at the University of Stuttgart in 2008. Since spring 2009, I am working at Telespazio VEGA. I have worked in different areas, but since several years, I am concentrating on the development of operational simulators and on software validation. I have worked on projects for missions like Lisa Pathfinder, Rosetta, BepiColombo, MASCOT, Galileo, etc. In the meantime, I have become Senior Software Engineer at Telespazio VEGA. Currently, I am working on a SVF development study for ESTEC as well as on the maintenance of the MASCOT SDVF.

What is the history behind your job at Telespazio VEGA (Which decisions, interests or events led you to the position you are in today)?

I was looking to direct my studies towards the aerospace area and was hoping to find a job in the space industry. Therefore, I applied to VEGA Space (now Telespazio VEGA) in 2008. I was lucky enough to meet an employee of Telespazio VEGA while he was holding a series of seminars at the Stuttgart University. Luckily, he had time to interview me and introduce me to the VEGA Space team in Darmstadt. In the beginning, I started working on navigation projects after almost one year though I have changed to working on operational simulators starting with the Rosetta simulator Linux porting project. My interest for space was acknowledged at VEGA Space and I was allowed to keep working on operational simulators for ESA missions. At a later time, we received the amazing possibility to develop the On-board Software and the Software Development & Validation Facility for the MASCOT asteroid lander mission of DLR.

What does a typical workday for you look like?

A typical workday is mostly involving programming and debugging of software. For clarification of technical details, I often interact with the engineers and specialists at the client site (ESOC) or project partner sites. I am spending most of my time on Linux machines and use my Windows desktop only for e-mail and internet access. I enjoy discovering new tools or developing scripts that will make my day-to-day programming life easier.

What do you like about your job? What makes it so unique for you?

What I like best is the direct connection to the Space Agency and the close involvement with the flight control team, as well as the possibility to follow the course of a space mission from development through launch to the “grand finale” first-hand. Besides this aspect, of course I like to program and to develop new skills in different programming areas. And this is exactly what Telespazio VEGA is offering me.

What has been your highlight so far?

My involvement in the MASCOT asteroid lander mission of DLR and the Lisa Pathfinder mission, which I have accompanied from development phase to launch and finish, are probably the highlights of my work at Telespazio VEGA until now. However, the best moment was following the launch from the Main Control Room at ESOC and knowing that the flight control procedures that were sent to the spacecraft have been first tried and tested on the operational simulator you yourself helped to develop.

What do you perceive as a strength of Telespazio VEGA?

The company has changed since I started working here, but one of the most appealing strengths of Telespazio VEGA that remained through the times is its closeness to the space operations centre of ESA and the first-hand access to its space exploration missions.

With which three keywords would you describe Telespazio VEGA?

Space, ever-changing, international

What would you recommend to future Telespazio VEGA applicants? Which advice would you have for them?

We need good software engineers with a passion for space. Of course, the sun does not always shine around here either. Therefore, demonstrate your passion and show what will keep you happy on the not so perfect, rainy days.


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