Return to Human Space Flight home page

BEHIND THE SCENES | Planning | Training | Engineering | Processing | Research | Meet the People

Behind the ScenesMeet the People

In these pages, you will meet some of the best and brightest people our Nation has produced.

The thousands of individuals who make up the U.S. space program come from many backgrounds. Some have dreamed of being part of the space program since they were children, while others have come to their space careers late in life. All of them share one thing, however, the desire to be part of something larger than themselves.

We are proud to introduce to you, the unsung heroes of the American space program.

George AldrichGeorge Aldrich and his team of professional sniffers apply their talents to keeping the space shuttle and International Space Station free of offensive odors and dangerous compounds.
John CharlesFrom investigating crew health and supporting research on the Russian Space Station Mir to training John Glenn for a return trip to orbit and overseeing the STS-107 science mission, Charles has worked to discover and solve the challenges that will arise as humans take the next step into space.
Sharon CobbAs a young woman, Sharon Cobb became fascinated with materials when she watched molten metal being formed into huge shapes at a steel foundry in Birmingham, Ala., where her father worked. Today, she is the lead scientist developing an important facility for studying materials in the International Space Station.
Elaine Duncan"I like working for NASA because I can be 'out there' -- working on 'spacey,' cutting-edge technology that makes a real difference here on Earth," says Elaine Flowers Duncan, project manager for the Spacelab Pallet at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Michael EwertWhen Johnson Space Center engineer Michael K. Ewert entered his design for a solar-powered house in his sixth-grade science fair, he never dreamed he would some day be designing air conditioning systems for a human habitat on the Moon.
Royce FormanThis Johnson Space Center engineer is a leading expert in the field of aircraft structural integrity. He and his team developed software that predicts the growth of fatigue cracks and structural failures caused by metal defects.
Gavin GiereGavin Giere trains divers at Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. The divers provide assistance in the training of astronauts in a simulated zero-gravity environment.
Bob GossBob Goss, chief engineer of the Flight Projects Directorate at the Marshall Center, is responsible for the technical success of several key Marshall Center projects, including its International Space Station role.
George HopsonGeorge Hopson is the manager of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. He has worked for NASA for 40 years, but at the age of 75 he still enjoys the challenges each new day brings.
Cindy HutchensAs a life support engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Cindy Hutchens is developing new technologies for recycling water on the International Space Station.
Mike KearneyMike Kearney is a member of the team that coordinates Space Station science research from the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Brad MasonAs a timeline change officer, Mason is responsible for updating and maintaining the daily plan that is used by the crew to operate science experiments onboard the International Space Station.
Todd MayTodd May leads the team that built a “doorway to the stars” -- a new airlock that is making it easier to exit the International Space Station for space walks.
Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell, an engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, helped to design the International Space Station's Common Berthing Mechanism.
Gary Moore As a crew procedure engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center, Gary Moore talks with scientists worldwide to understand what they want to accomplish with their Space Station experiments.
Michelle MunkMichelle Munk is the lead systems engineer for the Advanced Space Transportation Program's Aerocapture Project. The project is developing ways to use a planet's atmosphere to slow down a spacecraft.
Steve Nunez White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M., is a vital proving ground for NASA's space flight hardware. Its manager, Steve Nunez, makes sure its people work safely and contribute to the future of human space exploration.
Shamim RahmanNASA has touched Dr. Shamim Rahman's life for about as
long as he can remember -- or at least as far back as 1969, when he was glued to the television watching Neil Armstrong step onto the lunar surface.
David ReynoldsDavid Reynolds was born with NASA in his blood. His parents worked to support America's first ventures to space. Now, Reynolds, a Marshall Space Flight Center engineer, communicates with crews on the International Space Station, and was the designer of a "tool holder" that makes space jobs easier and safer.
Barry RobinsonHe was a fan of the Apollo program. He watched the early launches on a black-and-white television in a Louisiana classroom. He dreamed often of space. Barry Robinson never doubted that one day he would work for NASA. He just never imagined it would be in Mississippi.
Miguel Rodriguez Growing up in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Miguel Rodriguez knew at age 17 that he wanted to work in America's space program. Little could he have known then that staying focused on that goal would lead him to become director of NASA's Propulsion Test Directorate at Stennis Space Center, where he is responsible for overseeing the safe operation of one-of-a-kind national test facilities valued at over $2 billion.
Rick Rodriguez and Tessa LucasHe fled Castro's Cuba as a child. She made a less dramatic, but long journey from the Philippines. Their love for art, science and science fiction brought them together in high school. Now this married couple works on key NASA programs at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Jeneene SamsAs a manager for NASA's Space Product Development Program, Jeneene Sams brings the benefits of space back to people on Earth.
Scott SmithMaking sure astronauts stay healthy in space is the job of hundreds of people at NASA. One of those people is Dr. Scott M. Smith, the lead for the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Susan Spencer Susan Spencer is part of the team that designed, manufactured and tested the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier, a cargo container that makes it possible to carry more science experiments in the shuttle or quickly deliver spare parts to the International Space Station.
Rita Sutton and
Roxanna Sherwin
Ever since they visited the Marshall Space Flight Center's space museum as little girls, Rita Sutton and Roxanna Sherwin knew they wanted to be a part of the space program.
Judy Marie TateHoustonian Judy Marie Tate packed up her enormous shoe collection and moved to Huntsville, Ala., for a one-year stint at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. She supports International Space Station science activities, acting as a liaison between the lead increment scientist at Johnson Space Center in Houston and the payload operations team in Huntsville.
Debrah Underwood When looking for a new job, science teacher Debrah Underwood didn't dream that today she'd be training astronauts to operate cutting-edge science experiments aboard the International Space Station. Underwood is Training and Crew Operations Group Lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
John Uri As a lead scientist for the International Space Station, John Uri makes sure experiments are conducted as planned and that scientists are satisfied with the operations and results of their experiments.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 07/01/2009
Privacy Policy and Important Notices