ROOM WITH A VIEW
The International Space Station (ISS) afforded
Kate Rubins ’99 and fellow astronauts
spectacular scenery to match the science.
Here, moonlight shines on the ocean off the
coast of Italy and the brightly-lit city of Naples.
BY MALINDA DANZIGER ’00
UC SAN DIEGO ALUMNI SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY—
BUT NONE SO MUCH AS KATE RUBINS ’99.
I’m sitting in the cockpit of the Space
Shuttle Discovery, surrounded by flickering buttons, knobs and dials all calling
for my attention as the countdown to
liftoff begins. Our mission is to repair a
faulty satellite, and as shuttle commander, the success and safety of my crew
ultimately belongs to me. I hear the final
“ 3, 2, 1…” over the communications
radio, and I sit straight up, ready.
Disclaimer: It’s 1988, I’m 10 years old,
and we’ll never leave the ground outside
Kennedy Space Center, where I’ve come
for a week of Space Camp. That didn’t
matter—if you had asked that girl what
she wanted to be when she grew up, she
would have stood confidently, eyes wide
with a child’s enthusiasm, and answered,
Most children of the ’80s would have
said the same thing. Yet one of them—
a star-gazing girl from California’s Napa
Valley—would do it. Even at a young age,
Kate Rubins’ passion for science gave her
a drive and focus beyond her years, one
that led her to UC San Diego before her
trajectory would leave this planet.
Our paths may never have crossed while
on campus, but there is still a common
bond as alumnae—a sense of pride for
what she’s accomplished and for what is
yet to come from all the girls, yesterday
and today, who share that same dream