Trailblazer of the Week
15 January 2021
If you’ve ever misplaced your keys or wallet, you probably recognize how much of an impact a single object can have on your schedule. When it comes to keeping track of literally all the pieces and parts that go into making the Lunar Trailblazer spacecraft, let’s just say we’d be locked out without Alicia Wayman.
“I am always interested in status,” says Wayman, the Lockheed Martin Space Senior Program Planner for Lunar Trailblazer. “Did we get this in? When will that be done? When do we plan on implementing? If that is late, how does that impact us? I want to know when things happen so I can help the program see the impacts to the schedule.”
Wayman keeps constant tabs on the craft’s technical whereabouts, though she does not have a background in planetary science or engineering. But this just means she regularly gets to encounter something new.
“I learn something new everyday which is very fulfilling!” she says.
Originally from Massachusetts, Wayman attended college at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she majored in International Business and minored in Spanish. After receiving her BS in Business Administration, she went on to complete her MS in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in English Language Learning at Colorado State University-Global Campus. Wayman shares why she took the big leap from a career in international and higher education to program planning with Lockheed Martin.
“I blame my husband!” she jests. “My husband is an engineer at Lockheed which is how I became interested in their jobs. Fast forward, now I'm at Lockheed and I love it! I wouldn't be at Lockheed if it weren’t for him.”
Specifically, Wayman really enjoys the processes, organization, and plans.
“My personality was destined for this kind of position so making the leap to such a new professional position actually was quite comfortable and natural,” she says.
Having made the bold move to shift careers, she now offers students some advice in their own academic and professional pursuits.
“If you like it, you should do it,” says Wayman. “Nothing should stop you from what will make you happy the rest of your life.”
When not working, Wayman is usually hanging out with her husband and two small children.
“I have two boys—a 4 year-old and 7 month-old—and we don’t have down time,” she says. “We like to get outside and be active as much as possible. When I have a few minutes to myself, I craft and I attend Bible study.”
Back at Lockheed, Wayman feels fortunate she was able to join the Lunar Trailblazer mission when she did.
“I was working for a program that was starting to wrap up which meant I would need another program soon,” she says. “Lunar Trailblazer needed a planner, so I took it. It's been so exciting to be a part of this from the beginning!”
Part of Wayman’s excitement is also rooted in Lunar Trailblazer’s designation as a SmallSat that will produce the first maps of lunar water. Selected as a NASA SIMPLEx (Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration) program mission, Wayman looks forward to Lunar Trailblazer’s science achievements as a lower-budget, ride-along mission.
“Great things can come in small packages!” says Wayman. “The science that will be gathered by such a small spacecraft is very cool!”
Alicia Wayman is Lunar Trailblazer’s Senior Program Planner at Lockheed Martin Space and she is our Trailblazer of the Week!
Trailblazer of the Week is an ongoing series showcasing the diversity of experience and expertise that supports the collective determination of the Lunar Trailblazer mission.
By Emily Felder
Emily Felder is a Pasadena City College student and Caltech intern working on science communication for the Lunar Trailblazer mission.