With her urge to travel and love for entertaining people, Juniper Jairala used to build international theme parks (while secretly performing in Samba shows by night); now she develops vehicles to take travelers to space (while fire dancing by night). In 2004, she received a master of science, aerospace engineering/bioastronautics degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since leaving Colorado, she has worked in various settings including the Johnson Space Center in Houston at its Engineering Biomedical Systems Division Neurosciences Laboratory. There she verified, troubleshot, and designed biomedical hardware for shuttle, space station, and ground-based research related to astronaut health. She has worked at the X Prize Foundation in Santa Monica, California managing the research needs of the foundation, and at Space Exploration Technologies in El Segundo, California as a crew systems engineer.
Jairala feels most human when expressing herself through dance, as her body gets moved involuntarily by music. She will: proudly and animatedly quote Eddie Murphy's Delirious word-for-word; skydive; fly airplanes; take the tumble in the zero-g aircraft; swing through the air on stunt harnesses in dance clubs; and strip out and replace her car's engine with her own two hands. Fire dancer, rocket scientist, and multi-lingual world-traveler, Jairala seeks thrills, fun, and challenges in every aspect of her life. She hopes to go to space one day in a vehicle that she helped build.