Branch Chief Margarita Sampson

Margarita Sampson thoughtfully gazes off into the distance as she sits in the lobby of Building 1 at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Behind her are two pieces of text. The first says, "Dare Unite Explore" in a circle above "Johnson Space Center." The second says, "We DARE to expand frontiers. We UNITE with our partners to complete bold missions and we EXPLORE space for the benefit of humankind."

“There’s this thing called the overview effect: Space has this effect on people that you could probably call almost spiritual. Everyone returns from spaceflight changed in one way or another. … They see the Earth from space, and that’s how they continue to see it after flight.

“… The more people travel to space and have the experience of seeing the Earth, the less chance of wars and conflict and separation we have. Life becomes more hopeful.

“I read [‘The Last Man on the Moon’] by Gene Cernan, and he was describing how he felt looking at the Earth from the surface of the Moon. I was like, ‘Yeah, there’s something there.’… I feel like we go to space not to learn more about space but to learn more about ourselves.”

— Margarita Sampson, Branch Chief, NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: NASA / William Stafford
Interviewer: NASA / Michelle Zajac

Check out some of our other Faces of NASA.

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