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Space Shuttle at the space station
Personal Space
Kathy LauriniClick for video


Job Title:
NASA ATV Launch Package Manager

Reston, Virginia

Childhood Dream:
To be an astronaut

Matrouska dolls from trips to Russia.

Favorite Web Site:

Favorite Movie:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Favorite Book:
"Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Favorite Sports Team:
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Kathy Laurini
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A Family Affair
For Kathy Laurini, an American, life is an international affair. As manager of NASA's office in the Netherlands, Kathy and Sonshe's responsible for the integration of The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) that will travel to the International Space Station. At home, she's a parent to three children--all trilingual--with her husband Daniele Laurini, an Italian, who manages the Cupola Project for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Kathy's Family
Citizens of the World
Her children (Elisa - 8, John - 5, and Max - 3) are excited that both parents are working on the station. "Sometimes when their friends find out what we do, they immediately ask, 'Are your parents astronauts?'," said Laurini. She's amazed at how well they've been able to pick up languages. They speak English to her, Italian with her husband, and Dutch at their local school. "I think it provides them a real gift--I'm happy to be able to give them this opportunity to learn about languages and cultures, because I think as the world becomes a smaller place, and as they get older, their comfort with language and multicultural environments will help them choose the place in the world that's best for them. They're really more positioned to be citizens of the world."

Career at NASA
NASA engineer by day and mother "24/7", Laurini keeps very busy and she loves it. After watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon in 1969, she set her sights on the space industry. When she joined NASA almost 20 years ago there were fewer women, but it's not the boy's club that some might think. Kathy Laurini Actually, "the culture at NASA is more of a big, happy family, one big team." Laurini credits NASA with doing a tremendous job of hiring and promoting women. "Anything that I felt I wanted to achieve, NASA has made it easy for me to achieve." She thinks it's different abroad. "Women are not as well integrated into the workplace here in Europe or in Japan as they are in the United States." The Netherlands facility is staffed mostly by Italians, Spanish, French and Germans. "Getting women to leave their country, to leave their families, has been a harder challenge for Europeans than getting men to do it. When we all cooperate and work together, we can make it a better facility than any one nation could operating on its own."

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 08/21/2002
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