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

Behind the ScenesEngineering

The People of Engineering

IMAGE: Cindy Hutchens

MarshallSpace Flight Center engineer Cindy Hutchens is developing new technologies to turn wastewater into clean water on the International Space Station.
More People of Engineering

Engineers design the tools and equipment astronauts will need in space, as well as any software that may be needed to run that equipment. They also design equipment that can be used in future space missions. From the pistol grip tool that allowed astronauts to service the Hubble Space Telescope to the sleep station that gives space station astronauts added protection from space radiation, engineers continually strive to make it easier and safer to work in space.

Facilities and Projects

Advanced Life Support
The Advanced Life Support program, based at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, is working to support self-sufficiency for human beings to carry out research and exploration productivity for benefits on Earth and to open the door for planetary exploration.

Advanced Technology Integration
The Advanced Technology Integration Web site is for any technology developer interested in partnering with NASA to advance technologies for human space flight. The site includes information on NASA technology needs and features more than 50 streaming audio talks.

Engineering Research and Technology
The goals of the Engineering Research and Technology program include maximizing the use of the International Space Station as a unique on-orbit laboratory.

Hypervelocity Impact Technology Facility
The Hypervelocity Impact Technology Facility, or HITF, at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, tests many materials and spacebound items for their susceptibility to micrometeoroid impact and develops ways to make them stronger and more resistant to damage.

Meet the People

"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.
When 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.
This 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.
As chief engineer of the Flight Projects Directorate at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Bob Goss is responsible for the technical success of several key Marshall projects, including its International Space Station role.
George 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.
As 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 Kearney is 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.
Todd 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.
It’s up to space-suited astronauts to put the International Space Station together, but Brian Mitchell is one of the people behind the scenes who makes it look so easy.
Michelle 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.
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
Miguel RodriguezGrowing 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 Center Operations Directorate at Stennis Space Center, where he is responsible for the center's institutional services.
He 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.
The manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office leads a team of more than 2,000 government and contractor engineers working on the space shuttle orbiters. He has been instrumental in the technical leadership role of several space shuttle anomaly investigations and repair events.
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.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 07/01/2009
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