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NASA Names Charlie Lundquist as Deputy Program Manager for Orion

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Charlie Lundquist, Deputy Program Manager

NASA has selected Charlie Lundquist as deputy manager of the agency’s Orion Program.

NASA has selected Charlie Lundquist as deputy manager of the agency’s Orion Program. Along with Program Manager Mark Kirasich, Lundquist will be responsible for oversight of design, development and testing of the Orion spacecraft, as well as spacecraft manufacturing already underway at locations across the county and in Europe. Lundquist has served as manager of the Orion crew and service module office since 2008.

“Charlie has outstanding program management skills and has played pivotal roles in many of Orion’s accomplishments, including Orion’s successful flight test last year,” said Kirasich. “As we manufacture and deliver hardware and software for Orion’s next mission during the coming months and years, his leadership will be essential.”

Lundquist began his NASA career in 1993 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in the Space Station Freedom Program and quickly transitioned into the International Space Station Program, where he managed the Russian Vehicle Project Office, serving as lead negotiator for all technical discussions between NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency. In 1997, he became deputy manager of the Element Integration Office for the space station, leading the multi-disciplinary team responsible for certifying the Unity module, the first U.S. element of the space station, for flight. In 1999, Lundquist was named deputy chief of Johnson’s Life Sciences Research Laboratories, developing and administering NASA’s operations and clinical research process to pursue research objectives aimed at improving health care systems and practices in space. He also served in several other positions in spaceflight research and the Constellation Program.

A native of Dallas, Lundquist received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1984 from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in biological science in 1996 from the University of Houston in Clear Lake and completed PhD coursework in biomedical sciences under a NASA fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, in 2001. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal and Silver Snoopy Award, as well as the JSC Director’s Award of Excellence.

NASA Appoints Mark Kirasich to Serve as Orion Program Manager

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Mark Kirasich

NASA has appointed Mark Kirasich to be manager of the agency’s Orion Program. Credits: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA has appointed Mark Kirasich to be manager of the agency’s Orion Program. The Orion spacecraft is being developed to send astronauts to deep space destinations, such as an asteroid and ultimately to Mars, launching on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket.

Kirasich has been deputy Orion Program manager since 2006. He now will be responsible for oversight of design, development and testing of the Orion spacecraft, as well as spacecraft manufacturing already underway at locations across the country and in Europe for ESA (European Space Agency).

“Mark brings a wealth of knowledge about NASA’s human spaceflight efforts to the Orion Program manager position,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. “By overseeing the team and the work needed to send Orion to deep space, and working directly with our international partner ESA to provide the spacecraft’s service module, his leadership will be essential to enabling humans to pioneer farther into the solar system and continue our journey to Mars.”

Kirasich began his NASA career in 1983 at Johnson Space Center as a member of the space shuttle flight operations team, quickly advancing to the position of lead space shuttle payload officer in mission control. In 1996, he was selected as a flight director in charge of planning and executing NASA human spaceflight missions, serving in that capacity for multiple space shuttle missions and International Space Station expeditions.

“I have seen firsthand Mark’s impact on the Orion Program, and previously in key operations leadership roles at Johnson, and I look forward to having him help us extend the success of Orion’s 2014 flight test forward,” said JSC Director Ellen Ochoa.

Kirasich succeeds Mark Geyer, who became JSC’s deputy director in August.

A native of Chicago, Kirasich received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and Space Flight Awareness Award, as well as a JSC Director’s Commendation.

Across the country, elements of the Orion spacecraft are coming together for the first integrated mission with the Space Launch System. At NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, welding began in September on the next Orion destined for space. Next month, NASA will see the arrival of a test version of Orion’s service module, provided by ESA, for testing and analysis at the agency’s Plum Brook Station, near Sandusky, Ohio.

For more information about Orion, click here.