TECH CORPS celebrates the life and work of Valerie Thomas, a major contributor to the study of space. Even though she was interested in science and technology from a young age, girls were not encouraged to pursue those studies. But she did. After graduating from Morgan State University, Thomas started working for NASA in 1964. She worked for NASA until retiring in 1995. During that time, she designed and developed real-time computer programs to examine Halley’s Comet, research the ozone layer, and conduct many large-scale experiments.
Thomas led a team that developed Landsat, an image processing system that sent the first images from satellites to Earth. She invented and holds the patent for an illusion transmitter which uses concave mirrors to create a 3D image. This technology is still being used by NASA, surgeons, and TV screen producers.
Thomas has received several awards, like the Goddard Space Flight Center Award of Merit and the NASA Equal Opportunity Medal. Her contributions have helped humans expand their knowledge of space and our place in it.