Good Indian Girl, Sort Of: Pooja Joshi Jesrani

PHOTO DATE: 07/02/2018 LOCATION: Bldg. 30 – FCR-1 SUBJECT: Expedition 56 Flight Controllers during Rendezvous and Capture of the SpaceX/Dragon CRS-15 Cargo Craft to the nadir port of Harmony on ISS PHOTOGRAPHER: Norah Moran

I currently reside in: Houston, TX

What’s your favorite hangout in Houston: I LOVE coffee shops! My favorites are Inversion Coffee House, Siphon Coffee, and Mercantile. There is something so unique about coffee shops — so many different walks of life all enjoying a drink under one roof.   

I currently work as a: Flight Director for the International Space Station at NASA’s Mission Control Center

I do this because: Directing the ground team for the International Space Station (ISS) program is a constant reminder of mankind’s engineering prowess. The ISS, which is literally the size of an American football field, flies over 200 miles above the Earth and rotates around it once every 90 minutes. It currently has six astronauts on board performing breakthrough scientific experiments to get us ready for our next step in space exploration.

What are some Indian traditions you still follow? Many of them 🙂 My parents and in-laws have instilled them within our family, and we do our best to ensure that certain rites are passed along to our 3-year-old daughter. From trips to family temples in rural India to prayers before dinner or playing Holi with friends, we enjoy celebrating our Indian heritage.

Bollywood or Hollywood, and why? Hollywood. I am really into thrillers and crime dramas, and I feel like that those genres aren’t overly represented in the Bollywood film scene. But the movies have certainly broken out of their traditional mold in recent years!

Favorite movie? Coincidentally enough, Apollo 13.

What’s your favorite thing about Indian culture? It’s all one big family! Indians are one of the most inclusive people — I have yet to meet someone that is older than me that isn’t my “auntie” or “uncle” somehow…

What’s one piece of advice your parents have given you that should probably be or are abiding by? An accident is just that. An accident. Your intentions in your actions speak louder than the results of your actions.

Good Indian Girl? Sort of? I studied engineering and love math and science, but if you asked me to make you chai or daal on a moment’s notice, I would probably have to phone a friend :).

You can follow Pooja and her far-out adventures on Instagram at @pooja.jesrani or just visit to see what’s she’s up to!

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