About MJ Marggraff

MJ Marggraff is a commercial pilot, author, and a project leader who has created a unique and new space experiment which is currently on the International Space Station. Twelve years ago she would not have listed these things about herself; but that was before making a major course correction and adding something new to her calendar —Flight School— that changed her life completely. Her latest book, Finding the Wow – How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife (Big Table Publishing, Boston: ISBN: 978-0-9886191-9-7), tells how, at age 45 and while an at-home mom of two young children, she decided to follow her childhood dreams, overcome her fears, and learn to fly.

Making a change following a passion, and learning how to fend off fear and doubt began when MJ lost her planning book, decided to refill it with her dream and then make a remarkable experience come true for others. And there were plenty of fears: starting something new, being the only mom-female-older member in a flight class of young men, worrying her family, and wondering how she could pull over if something went wrong flying solo.

Over the years, and after receiving several pilots’ licenses, more doors opened to even higher dreams. MJ became a mission support assistant and trained for sub-orbital spaceflight, published articles on her flying stories, received an award for best humor in aviation, and keynote speaker at several events. Her stories inspire others to not let fear rule our life and to realize that we can reinvent ourselves at any age. Most importantly, she hopes that readers of Finding the Wow will be motivated to do what they love. Her experiment to space is underway as a pilot project that has already inspired students to touch the stars; NASA’s education center is interested in offering it to thousands of students nationwide.

Her background includes FAA Flight Instructor, M.Sc. in Education, and leadership and management positions at Hewlett-Packard and Genetics Institute where she worked to create better teams. She is currently researching issues on long-duration space flights and the ways to help on-board crews succeed on their difficult missions. MJ has been accepted to a doctoral program where she will continue her research, during which time she will find herself in strange and distant places.

I DID IT!! I got my license.
“It only took 14 months – and 3 instructors but I have it. And the guys says they would love to fly with me as I am a very safe pilot. My lifelong dream of flying is happening. Your descriptions in the book made me relive every second of my flights – as if I was right there with you. When planning for a flight or returning from a flight (which is as often as I can) my feet on not even touching the ground. Next stop – Advanced Ground Instructor and then on to Instrument. To learn – and love flying – I am living my dream!”

Thank you!
— Judi