Evelyn Miralles: virtual visionary.

Author:Jordan, Judi

Her dreamy eyes envisioned the impossible--until it wasn't.

Evelyn Miralles is not your basic rocket scientist. In a department overwhelmingly populated by bearded, bespectacled men, she's a feminine force of nature. Her intellectual gifts landed her at NASA, but her innate survival skills; a warm personality, intense curiosity, personal initiative and collaborative nature has kept her there. As documented in "Hidden Figures," the 2016 Oscar nominated film about Katherine Johnson, the African-American mathematician behind the '60s space race, there is a history of 'under the radar woman power' at NASA. And yes, this time, 18,250 days later, it's a hidden Latina coming up for her long due recognition. For twenty-five Earth years Miralles' big, beautiful brain has been crushing preconceived models of thought innovation, and piloting new dimensions launching her own 'virtual architecture' in space. As Principal Engineer and Lead VR Innovator for the astronaut training facility at NASA Johnson Space Center, Evelyn far surpassed her earliest ambition to design buildings; Miralles' premiere project was the construction of a 3D model of a habitat on the moon. Before joining the VRLab, she worked as a Lead Graphic Simulator and Software Developer for the Integrated Graphics Operations & Analysis Laboratory (IGOAL) in the JSC Engineering Directorate. Technology's unlimited potential spoke directly through Evelyn; effectively since 1992, Miralles has been passionately involved with space shuttle and International Space Station missions.

While VR is the current "hot topic" on the lips of every tech thrill seeker, it's practically 'old news' for Evelyn Miralles and her team. Since 1993, her Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics has been used to simulate space operations. Evelyn's work at NASA's Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRLab) is used to train astronauts in extravehicular activity. How's that for leading edge? This is a great example of the importance of NASA as a place where great female minds may flourish. Overseeing the development and operations of the Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRLab) utilized for Astronaut space training, Evelyn's VRLab is responsible for Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA) or Spacewalks, Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) runs, Mass Handling scenarios and Robotics operations. As the pioneer of VR, there is no one better positioned to explain the history and future of VR technology application for space exploration than Evelyn Miralles.

In a career trajectory that can authentically...

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