Former NASA aerospace engineer Libby Osgood is taking a sabbatical from her current job as a professor at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada to pursue a new vocation —becoming a nun, the Times Colonist reports.
“I feel so whole. It feels like there were all these different puzzle pieces before and they just all fit now together,” she told the paper.
“With the science and religion perspective … I’m already getting to learn more about my two passions, and seeing how other people have put them together.”
NASA first hired her as a 23-year-old graduate systems engineer whose job it was to nag scientists to fill out the paperwork required to prove a satellite would launch as planned.
During her four years with the space agency, Osgood said that while she practiced her faith outside of work, the subject of spirituality seemed almost taboo.
“I think the most vocal scientists and engineers are atheists,” she said. “Those of us who do have faith and are scientists and engineers, we’re just quieter about it.”
After moving to UPEI in 2010, she gradually opened up to her faith.
A visit from Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno opened her up to the idea that “science and religion could coexist”.
“All of a sudden, I realized I could be an engineer and I could be a sister,” Osgood said as she prepares for what she calls “nun boot camp” with the Congregation of Notre Dame in New York.