23 June 2022


Blog, Engineering, Media Updates, Science, Space

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Sara from RHEA GroupRHEA Group is proud to support International Women in Engineering Day 2022 and celebrate the many women in our company who, like their male colleagues, make outstanding contributions in our focus areas of space, security and system engineering.

In Spain, where most of our team support the European Space Agency (ESA) at its European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, over 40% of our staff are women. Among them is Sara de la Fuente, a Planetary Science Operations and Software Development Manager, who has worked at RHEA for 5 years.

Sara works as a BepiColombo Science Operations System Engineer and Work Area Manager of Payload Operations and Software Development for the Planetary Missions Service at ESAC.

“Working in space science and exploration, I feel we are making history every day – and also I consider I am involved in human science and exploration, contributing to our common goals as humans. I learn new things every day, which is very motivating.”

Most of the women in RHEA’s team at ESAC work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) roles. In addition, the majority of RHEA’s management team in Spain are women.

Working in the space sector offers variety, as well as technical and managerial challenges that Sara wholeheartedly embraces.

I work on challenging technical problems where the context changes frequently and I have to make use of different kinds of skills, so I never get bored! And I work with a great team. My technical work allows me to better understand the problems, issues and difficulties of the people I am managing, which is an advantage for me and for them.

What has been your most memorable career highlight?

“Participating in the Mars orbit insertion part of ESA’s Mars Express mission in 2003 was an amazing moment in my early career. [This was when the spacecraft was slowed down and captured into Mars’ orbit]. Then, more recently, in the past 4 years I have been supporting the science operations of the BepiColombo planetary flybys of the Earth, Venus and Mercury.”

Would you recommend a career in your sector?

“Of course I would! The space sector allows you to work in exciting projects and be involved in very specific and challenging engineering solutions, combined with the beauty of exploring our universe and feeling that you are contributing to human knowledge and understanding.

Working in the space sector, you will meet extremely professional and unique people, who are passionate about the work they do, and work in an international environment where you learn new things every day – it is never boring!

If you like an international environment and new projects and challenges, the space sector is definitely the place to work.

Find out more

Read the full interview with Sara in our Meet the Team section of the website, where you can meet other inspiring women from across our company.

Visit our Careers section to discover the wide range of career opportunities in space and security, and the latest vacancies at RHEA across the 11 countries in which we work.