James Ragan

James Ragan

Grad student in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Hometown: Redmond, WA

Date of this Interview: June 15, 2022

What do you research?

I am currently working on tools for a spacecraft to diagnose what is wrong with itself, by considering the most useful tests to run. In the future, the goal is that spacecraft would be able to fix themselves quickly and autonomously without any help from Earth.

Why does space inspire you?

I’ve always been fascinated by just how much is out there that we don’t know about. Discovery is exciting, and space has so much for us to find, to see and to learn from.

If you could instantly travel to any point in the universe, where would you choose to go?

I’d like to see what the nearest habitable planet looks like (plus then we’d know if it had aliens!). I think I’d want a return trip promised though before going.

Where can you be found when you’re not conducting research?

Playing board games with friends or out hiking and camping.

What book do you wish you could read for the first time again?

Wool. I won’t spoil anything, but that book does a fantastic job of playing with your expectations.

Image of James assembling a rocket

Image of James assembling for launch in the Spaceport America Cup.