Taryn Tomlinson - Chief of Staff
My son was just little when I started working on Dextre. So I used to tell him: "I have to go to Toronto, I'm going to see Dextre". And he thought that Dextre was another child.
But kids are amazingly resilient and he was happy that I was working so hard on Dextre and that Dextre was going to go to space. But it was really hard for him to accept that Dextre would never come back. That brought tears to his eyes.
A really amazing moment happened. Everybody on the team got to sign the blanket that was going to be put around Dextre. It's this white cloth that covers Dextre. Once signed, I had it in the car to bring with me on the plane, and my son said, "What is that?" And I said, "It's a blankie for Dextre. It's got everybody's signature on it, and he's going to bring his blankie with him to space." It made it all okay. He'll never forget that.
Taryn Tomlinson is a mechanical engineer with a master's in radio and space science. She has worked in the RADARSAT program as a summer student, was the lead for Dextre's hardware testing, developed rovers, and now manages a team working on a project for the International Space Station. She is the mother of two young boys.
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