Ellen Stofan is the first woman to hold the position of Director of National Air and Space Museum. She had first seen the launch of a rocket when she was four years of age. Now that she has turned 50, she has been honored with this prestigious spot which she had dreamt of since her childhood. Previously Stofan was the chief scientist at NASA. She has extensive experience of 25 years in this field. In her youth, she was a kind who fell in love with the science books, particularly with the rocks.
Stofan further added that when she was of the age of 9 or 10, she had expressed her feeling to be a geologist. Everybody in her family encouraged her to pursue her career in that field. She told that such strong encouragement from her family members helped her to initiate her higher studies in this field. Such positive vibes from her family members made her feel that she could be successful in her life if she took up geology as per subject. In fact, such encouragement was readily available because the family also belonged to the science background. Her father was employed in NASA as a rocket scientist while her mother was a science teacher.
While she had attained the age of 14, Stofan saw the launch of Viking Lander where astronomer Carl Sagan spoke at the occasion. It was then she decided that she had to become a geologist and study about bigger rocks, i.e., planets. In fact, the Viking Lander was the first US spacecraft that successfully landed on the Mars and was successful in sending images back to the Earth.
The speech of Carl Sagan appeared to be inspiring for Stofan who thought it was indispensable to know about mars, where traces of water were found and where there was the slightest trace of life. Although today she is not a part of the mission of sending humans to Mars, she has at the same time occupied a very prestigious job where she could explore much more of her dreams.
She is now the first woman to head the museum. While describing her job responsibility, she emphasized on the fact that she will be concentrating on the history of space exploration and other outer space activities, s that more of the young generation could be attracted towards space exploration.