Nasa appoints first female head of science, Dr Nicola Fox for the ‘best job on the planet’

Virgin Radio

8 Mar 2023, 13:03

Credit: Getty

Nasa has appointed Nicola Fox as the US space agency’s science chief.

Dr Fox, from Hertfordshire is the first woman to have the job, and she has called it "the best job on the planet".

"I pop out of bed at 04:30 every morning really energised to come to work," she said.

"It’s the role of a lifetime, I could not be more excited," she said.

She said that as a young girl in Hitchin "you don’t really dream of working for Nasa, it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s something that could be a reality."

Fox will lead Nasa’s science directorate.

She is now the head of a unit with an annual budget of roughly $7 billion.

Dr Fox and her team now oversee a Nasa study group formed which helps the US military detect and characterise UFOs.

Her career with Nasa started back in 2018 in the Heliophysics division.

Fox's original role has her overseeing the agency’s efforts to study the Sun.

Of her entry to Nasa, she said: "I was at a meeting when I was doing my post graduate work at Imperial College [London] and I went to a meeting in Alaska and I was talking very excitedly about my work and a scientist basically said “could I interest you in a post doc at Nasa?”‘

‘People say you always have these pivotal moments in your life, that was the pivotal moment and I said “yes actually I would”‘.