CAF Story: Meet Maj Melissa Reyes “I’m a Space Nerd.”


Video / November 25, 2016

Major Reyes: Everybody loves space. I mean it’s just such a neat thing, you know it’s hard to fathom.

When I was younger, I think I was five, and I wanted to be an astronomer.

Maybe it’s the romantic side of space that people really like, you know, that draws them there. But I think it’s all about the exploring, you know, and discovering new things. There’s so much that we don’t know.

My name is Major Melissa Reyes. I’m a communications and electronics engineer.

When I first started in the military, I wasn’t in space, I never expected to be in a space related position.

When I was coming back from Afghanistan, my career manager phoned and said “Do you want to work at the Canadian Space Agency?” And I was like “Cool, who doesn’t want to work at the Canadian Space Agency, right?”

When I was working at the North Warning System office, we would visit the different North Warning System sites.

We were in a helicopter and we were flying to one of the sites, and it was a big blanket of white because it was in the winter. And then all of a sudden there was this black dot. You know, I just thought it was like a tree or something like that, but it was so far away. And then the black dot just got bigger and bigger; and it was the radar site.

It was just amazing. I can even still feel it now, it was just this feeling of awe and how small we are. And the Earth is so small in compared to the entire universe.

This is the satellite that we had just launched in June of this year, from India. And this is called the Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro Satellite.

This little satellite, which is also in a polar orbit, will pick up these signals, and then send them back down to Earth.

The Navy, our Navy, and not just our Navy but other government departments in Canada, want to know what’s approaching us.

And of course you can say that you can learn something new every day. But I mean, that I think for me, I’ve had that opportunity in the military to do that.

If you think about how vast space actually is, it’s hard to even fathom the distance.

Where I am now I’m really enjoying it, because I’m a space nerd. So when you think about it, when I was five and I wanted to do stuff in space, here I am.

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