Alyssa Saenz


CX2 Robotics Operations

NASA Johnson Space Center 

Alyssa Saenz, as a child, was fascinated with the vastness and mystery of the universe. This captivation and interest would eventually lead her to set her sights on NASA. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Saenz was not exposed to science or engineering outside the classroom. It was not until her senior year of high school that she discovered the field of Aerospace Engineering. Saenz immediately realized that was what she wanted to do, and this ultimately propelled her towards a career at NASA. 

In December of 2017, Saenz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Astrophysics from Texas A&M University. After completing a summer internship at the Johnson Space Center prior to graduation, Saenz knew that she wanted to return full-time as a Flight Controller in Mission Control. In January of 2018, Saenz started her journey at NASA in the Flight Operation Directorate’s ROBO group. Saenz is now a certified Flight Controller for the International Space Station’s Mobile Servicing System, which includes the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (also known as Canadarm2 and Dextre, respectively). Some of Saenz’ responsibilities consist of developing the trajectories and procedures that ensure these space robots maneuver safely and efficiently around the International Space Station and supporting real-time operations in Mission Control Houston. She now also serves as a Robotics Instructor to flight controllers and astronauts in training. Saenz has served as Mission Design Lead for Increment 59, Cargo Dragon 19 payload operations, the Materials International Space Station Experiment payload operations, ROBO Increment 63 Lead, IROSA EVA Robotics lead, and Cygnus-16 robotics lead. She completed her Masters of Engineering in Space Operations at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in 2023. Saenz hopes to earn ROBO’s top flight-controller certification and remain in the world of space robotics and flight operations for years to come. 

Because of the limited exposure to engineering and science she experienced in her childhood, Saenz is passionate about STEM outreach and engagement in her hometown community and beyond. She enjoys connecting with students of all ages to talk about STEM education, NASA missions, and human space exploration.