Atlanta Eagle Scout Now Shoots for the Stars

Justin Martin and Wally Funk posing for a photo after Wally's historic flight aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle up to the edge of space and back.

Atlanta Area Council Eagle Scout Justin Martin has a pretty out-of-this-world career inspecting and testing the safety of commercial satellites. Justin’s work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensures that the launch and reentry of each satellite goes according to plan!

Justin Martin of Troop 297 and his grandfather Jerry at Justin’s Eagle Ceremony in 2008

Justin can trace the start of his career and engineering interests all back to his grandfather Jerry Martin – a Scout leader and an inspirational figure for young Justin. Justin always had an admiration for his grandfather who was an engineer for the city of Atlanta and he knew there was a future for himself in the field. It was difficult for Justin to settle on one engineering discipline but that all changed one summer when he earned his Astronomy Merit Badge at camp and became enamored with aerospace science.

After graduating high school, Justin went on to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he earned his degree in Aerospace Engineering. From there, he joined the FAA where he was assigned to their Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) project. Justin later joined the Commercial Space Transportation Office (AST), a separate division within the FAA, where he found his true calling and currently works today.

With the AST, Justin visits various launch and reentry sites around the country including airports, spaceports, federal ranges, and private launch sites where he performs safety reviews and observation testing of commercial satellites. It is an important job that ensures public safety and makes sure commercial satellite operations run smoothly from start to finish.

Through Scouting, I found out that I was interested in space. To plan and put the work in and stick to my goals helped me reach my goal of working in a career in aerospace engineering.

Justin is incredibly passionate about his career and he credits Scouting as his inspiration and motivation to pursue Aerospace Engineering. If you’re a Scout and have an interest in the final frontier, start working on the Astronomy or Space Exploration Merit Badge. You never know where it might take you!