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Dr. Melissa Corley Carter, The Barefoot Dancing Rocket Scientist, uses basic principles of rocket science to help rockstar humans reclaim their power, own their awesomeness, and take giant leaps of faith.


An actual rocket scientist, 7 continents marathoner, astronaut reject, speaker, award-winning author, and certified professional coach, Melissa will inspire you to celebrate the power of who you are and to ignite your passion for the life you live.


Before becoming a coach, Melissa spent twenty years aspiring to become an astronaut. In pursuit of that goal she earned two engineering degrees from Stanford University, a commission as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and a PhD in astronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Despite perfect vision after corrective eye surgery, her pre-surgical eyesight disqualified her and shattered her astronaut dream.

In the years since, she’s realized that her dream emerged from an intuitive knowing of her spiritual connection with the universe, from a desire to inspire people to greatness the way astronauts had always inspired her, and from the vision of a unified and harmonious world. In her daily dance with the universe now, she's truly living her dream.

Melissa is the author and photographer of the award-winning 2021 coffee table book, Running the World: Marathon Memoirs from the Seven Continents, and the companion wisdom card deck, Running YOUR World. In her book she shares her outer journey across the continents and her inner journey of recovering from shattered dreams and realigning her life with powerful purpose. Her wisdom cards will guide you to pause, reflect, align your own life with powerful purpose, and take inspired action toward your dreams.

Melissa is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, where she serves as an executive coach, strategic advisor, and leadership development facilitator. Prior to joining the reserve, her active duty assignments included laser test engineering, adaptive optics research and development, satellite acquisitions and operations, and aide-de-camp and executive officer to senior leaders.


Melissa’s journey has taught her that identity and goals are not synonymous, that even major disappointments hold gifts beyond imagining, and that every experience invites us to take a small step — or a giant leap — into greater alignment with who we really are.

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Shine My Light and Inspire You to Shine Yours


8+ Billion Humans Loving Themselves and Owning How Powerful, Unique, and Awesome They Are


Integrate Purpose, Power, and Passion

Revel in the Dance of Radiant Creation

Trust Self, Trust Source, and Boldly Go

The Barefoot Dancing Rocket Scientist 

"Origin Story"

In my mid 20s, one of my favorite activities was swing and country dancing. In my late 20s, I started running barefoot. A month after I turned 30, I earned my astronautical engineering PhD. The Barefoot Dancing Rocket Scientist emerged from what I did, but it's become so much more. It's an embodiment of who I'm being in the world.



For me, the barefoot piece is about grounding. It's about connecting with the earth, the present moment, the wisdom of your body, and all the deep sources of knowing that are available to you. It’s about finding beauty, simplicity, power, and flow in all things natural, whether it’s natural movement, leveraging your natural gifts and strengths, or embracing the most natural, aligned, and fulfilling dream in your heart.


The dancing piece is about connection, artistry, and joy. A strong connection in partner dancing helps you sense signals and timing. It helps you create moving works of art. When it flows, it's pure joy. On a cosmic scale, the universe is your dance partner. Cultivating that cosmic connection sources you with infinite inspiration and creative energy. The signals and timing guide you to take aligned action. Life itself becomes the work of art. And when you allow it to flow, it's pure joy.

Rocket Scientist

The rocket science piece is about powerful creation. It's about exploring your horizons and discovering the universe. It's about expanding your vision of what's possible for yourself and for the world. It's about igniting your passion for the life you live. “It’s not rocket science,” they always say. Actually, it is. With no math or equations, rocket science is essentially about going from where you are to where you want to be, acknowledging progress and adjusting course, and letting go to lift off. In that light, every aspect of life actually IS rocket science!

Ready for liftoff?

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