Alverno Heights Hosts Susan Finley, Pioneer at JPL

Susan G. Finley

Students at Alverno Heights Academy recently hosted Susan G. Finley, the longest-serving woman in NASA who has been employed at JPL since 1958.
At 21, Finley left Scripps College to become an engineer with a thermodynamics group at Convair in Pomona. Like most women of her generation, Finley took time off at the beginning of her career to raise a family. Then, in 1958, she took a position at JPL.
Her job required trajectory computations for rocket launches. In 1962, it was Finley’s calculation that showed that Ranger 3 missed the moon by 22,000 miles. Through her career, Finley contributed to JPL’s missions to the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, in the Ranger, Mariner, Pioneer, Viking and Voyager programs.
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