The OCO-2 mission has special meaning to NASA’s Launch Services Program, as we have dedicated it to one of our LSP teammates, Laurie Walls. Laurie began her career more than 30 years ago as a thermal engineer for McDonnell Douglas in Huntsville, Alabama, supporting NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. She moved to Florida in 1985 and shortly thereafter became a civil servant working on the Space Shuttle Program’s return-to-flight effort after Challenger. In 1998, Laurie joined the newly formed Launch Services Program as one of the founding members of the flight analysis group. She served in LSP as the thermal discipline expert until her untimely death last month. Laurie worked thermal issues for numerous NASA Delta II and Atlas V missions, and provided key thermal support for both Delta II Heavy development and Atlas V certification.
Laurie was an integral member of the Launch Services Program family and she was truly dedicated to NASA and the LSP team. She will be greatly missed. We honor Laurie with a special memorial placed on the Space Launch Complex 2 umbilical tower, and we thank United Launch Alliance for helping to make this happen.