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Austin Mahowald

Spacecraft Software Engineer

Capella Space

So You Want to Be a Rocket Scientist


Meet the Speaker:

Born and raised in Los Altos, Austin graduated from Los Altos High in 2014 and received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland - College Park this past May. He now works at Capella Space, a satellite imaging company, whose spacecraft will use a technique called Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging to scan the Earth and create 3D images of the surface. However, when Austin graduated high school he did not know that the path to this moment would take him to an abandoned McDonald's at Moffett Field where he would build components for a launch vehicle, a field outside of Boston where he would crash an expensive custom quad-copter (and then rebuild it!), or a turf farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where he would launch his first large-scale amateur rocket. In fact, when Austin graduated high school, he had no interest in Aerospace at all!

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