Mary Beth Wusk

Enjoy What You Are Doing…

I have always been captivated with NASA and everything it represents. To work at NASA is to be part of a team of people who love technology and believe in improving the future. It provides an opportunity to foster new and creative ideas to make a difference in people’s lives. Growing up in a small town in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the daughter of an educator and a social worker, I never imagined my path would lead me to where I am today. My parents provided me a wide range of opportunities to help me find my passion. But most importantly, they drove home the idea that you have to enjoy what you are doing to do it well.

I enjoy being part of a team. Throughout high school I played sports year round and continued to play intercollegiate volleyball. Sports can teach you so much about working together, pulling on people’s strengths, and dealing with failure as well as accomplishments.

I enjoy challenges. Nothing is more exciting to me than brain storming solutions to a problem that doesn’t have a known answer. The process of wading through the facts, evaluating available resources, designing new concepts and testing the end product to deliver new and innovative solutions is invigorating to me. It’s like reading a book and you don’t know what the next chapter will bring.

I enjoy getting to know people. Everyone brings something unique to the table as we all have different perspectives, experiences and ideas. Getting to know the people you work with not only can lead to lifetime friendships but it can also be that support you need to see you through stressful times at work. There have been many times when I have leaned on my teammates to help me through challenging times at work and I try reciprocating whenever possible. It is important to remember it is not always about the destination, rather the journey and more importantly the people with whom we share that journey.

I enjoy working partnerships with other organizations. From being a flight crew member on research aircraft for numerous cockpit/air traffic control/advanced warning system technologies, to partnering with CNES (the French space agency), to launching an earth observing satellite to monitor the atmosphere, to testing new suborbital launch vehicles with private industry, I have had the opportunity to team with the best and brightest across the globe. Each experience brings new challenges and new opportunities.

I enjoy working with students. Starting as a NASA intern myself in 1989, my co-workers, management, and center leadership have provided me with countless opportunities to learn and grow as an engineer, a manager, and a leader. Sharing those experiences, both successes and failures, and involving students with the exciting work we are doing at NASA is truly a highlight of my job. I want to be that person who makes students excited about working for NASA, not just by talking about the great work we’ve done but by having them actively participate in the technology development for what we still need to do.

Team work, challenges, people, partnerships, mentorship… I am definitely enjoying what I do!

Photo of Mary Beth


Mary Elizabeth (Mary Beth) Wusk started at NASA Langley as a summer intern in 1989. She began working in aircraft instrumentation and continued developing her career working on not only research aircraft, but also earth observing satellites, sub-orbital launch vehicles and multiple sounding rocket programs. With her background in physics and electrical engineering, she has supported and led teams that delivered ground and flight hardware systems. Mary Beth now uses her technology development background in NASA’s Game Changing Development Program Office where she is helping project managers across NASA develop and incorporate technology. One of Mary Beth’s passions is encouraging student participation in NASA’s many missions, especially in hands-on projects. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, all of whom are actively involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.