Kearney is the assistant to the director of the Ground
Systems Department in the Payload Operations Center.
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
the science activities makes the job of coordinating International
Space Station research a critical one
Nov. 30, 2001
- A Lexington,
Ky., native is playing an important role in the worldwide science
operations for the International Space Station.
is a member of the team that coordinates Space Station science research
from the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Payload Operations Center is the
science command post for the Space Station - the most ambitious
research endeavor ever undertaken.
the assistant to the director of the Ground Systems Department in
the Payload Operations Center. His team works with ground controllers
and scientists to develop the computer and communications systems
so they can monitor and control experiments on the Space Station.
he arrived at the forefront of helping with scientific experiments
in space, Kearney was a photographer for the Lexington Herald-Leader
from 1967-1968, just after graduating from Lexington Catholic High
School. After submarine service in the Navy, he held the same position
at the newspaper from 1975-1978.
the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael W. Kearney, Jr., of Lexington.
from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's in electrical
engineering in 1978, Kearney worked for two years on the Space Shuttle
launch complex at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. He then moved to
Houston to work at the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
After 13 years
in Mission Control, Kearney worked in the International Space Station
Program Office in Houston for five years. It was during his time
at Mission Control that he became involved in working with Space
Station ground systems and also helping develop relationships with
control centers among the Station's international partners.
He moved to
Huntsville almost three years ago to work in the Marshall Center's
Payload Operations Center.
science activities - as well as the time and space required to accommodate
experiments and programs from a host of private, commercial, industry
and government agencies worldwide - makes the job of coordinating
Space Station research a critical one.
has the job of leading all the international agencies that collaborate
in this program," Kearney said. "In my team, I am the
focal point for that international coordination. In this environment,
every country is trying to perform science, increase results and
reduce cost. It keeps things interesting."
Operations Center provides around-the-clock science research aboard
the Space Station.
is housed in a section of the Huntsville Operations Support Center
- a historic complex that provided engineering support for Apollo,
Skylab and Space Shuttle launches, as well as Hubble Space Telescope
and Chandra X-ray Observatory operations. The complex also housed
the Spacelab Mission Operations Control Center from which more than
25 Shuttle-based science missions were controlled.
and photos for this story were provided by Marshall Space Flight