Q&A with Gateway: Meet Matthew Delgadillo, Systems Engineer for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost Project Office
The Gateway, a multipurpose outpost orbiting the Moon and vital part of NASA’s Artemis program, is built with sound engineering and operational principles that will serve as a staging point for deep space exploration and model for future missions to Mars. As a systems engineer for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, Project Office, Matthew Delgadillo is responsible for supporting the integration of the Halo Lunar Communication System (HLCS) onto the HALO module, which involves requirements development, design input, international partner collaboration, and much more. He also supports other HALO systems by providing input into specification, documentation, and design reviews.
What does your office do for the Gateway program?
Our HALO Project Office ensures that the HALO module is designed and manufactured so that its functionality will effectively contribute to the success of the Gateway mission of “creating the cislunar springboard for cooperative and sustainable human deep space exploration.”
What are you most excited to share about Gateway and what it will do for human exploration as part of the Artemis program?
I think I am most excited about all the possibilities that will be a direct result of a successful Gateway and Artemis program — from future Moon operations to our first manned trip to Mars!
How has your personal background influenced your work in the Gateway program?
My family has a restaurant in a small town, so we were put to work as kids as early as possible, and you learn early on to rely on each other, as well as to be relied upon. I hope that I bring that sense of reliance to my HALO family.
What has been your favorite memory while working at NASA?
I am new to NASA (barely a year in!), and my favorite memory has to be the first time driving through JSC’s gate (even if it was only to pick up my badge and return home), realizing that no matter how big or small, I would be making contributions to a program that will shape how we explore our solar system.
Being surrounded by such a high-performing group of people, what’s a great piece of advice you’ve learned?
Not only high-performing, but some of the most intelligent people I have met. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to take time to listen and learn as much as possible from all those around you.
In line with JSC’s DARE | UNITE | EXPLORE, how do you see yourself fitting into the vision?
Our HALO Project Office unites many projects, companies, partners, and people together so that we can explore space further than has ever been possible.
More about Matthew:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, home of hippies and the place where Pluto was discovered.
If you could temporarily live (or visit) in another part of the world, where would that be?
I would temporarily live in Greece to eat 10 times my weight in feta cheese and olives before returning.
How long have you been at JSC?
I have only been at JSC for a little over a year.
Describe yourself in five words:
Loyal, curious, quiet, gamer, and foodie.
Favorite thing(s) to do to unwind:
Diving into a day of board games with my mom, or a nice long hike with her.
How has the pandemic shaped your work style?
The pandemic has broken down my work-home barrier, and finding a healthy balance between the two has been challenging for me. Also, the reduced distance between the office and the kitchen has not been great for my weight.
Name one thing we would be surprised to learn about you.
I can recite “The Little Mermaid” word-for-word, song-by-song, from memory. (I blame both my sisters …)