Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Explorers & Workers
  NASA recruits new flight directors (2021)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   NASA recruits new flight directors (2021)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 47703
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-01-2020 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Seeks Next Class of Flight Directors for Human Spaceflight Missions

NASA is looking for leaders for one of the best jobs on Earth for human spaceflight – including missions to the Moon – the position of flight director in mission control at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA will accept applications for new flight directors Thursday, Sept. 3, through Thursday, Sept. 10. U.S. citizens can apply here.

Those chosen as NASA flight directors will lead human spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, as American astronauts once again are launching on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil to the orbiting laboratory.

For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. Flight directors also will lead upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon, and eventually the first human missions to Mars.

Flight directors are responsible for leading teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts, and support personnel around the world, and making the real-time decisions critical to keeping NASA astronauts safe in space.

"NASA flight directors need a unique mixture of confidence and humility, innovation and organization," said Holly Ridings, chief flight director at Johnson. "The situations you have to deal with are occasionally very tough, and the stakes are always very high. But if you are able to handle that responsibility, there is nothing like knowing that you played a key role in the historic work that NASA does on a day-to-day basis."

To be considered, flight director candidates must be U.S. citizens with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. They also will need substantial related, progressively responsible professional experience, including time-critical decision-making experience in high-stress, high-risk environments. Many flight directors have previously been NASA flight controllers, though it is not a prerequisite to apply.

NASA will announce selections later this fall. The new flight directors then will receive extensive training on flight control and spacecraft systems, as well as operational leadership and risk management.


Posts: 246
From: Israel
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 09-07-2020 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RobertB   Click Here to Email RobertB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have any flight directors not been flight controllers (or done a very similar job at NASA) before?


Posts: 1677
From: Bluffton IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 09-07-2020 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
T.J. Creamer was an astronaut.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 47703
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-07-2020 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Creamer served as a capcom while he was an active astronaut and then was a payload operations director in the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) at Marshall Space Flight Center before he was appointed a flight director.

I believe Paul Konyha might be the first (and to date, only) person to become a flight director without having previously been part of NASA's flight control team. He worked in the Department of Defense's Space Test Program office at Johnson Space Center prior to his leadership role in Mission Control.

Michael Cassutt

Posts: 369
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 09-07-2020 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul Hill, class of 1996, hadn't worked in mission control, either.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 47703
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-08-2021 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Introduces New Flight Directors in Class of 2021

NASA has selected four new additions to its cadre of flight directors to oversee operations of the International Space Station. The newest inductees in the class of 2021 are Diane Dailey, Chloe Mehring, Fiona Turett, and Brandon Lloyd.

They will work in the Mission Control Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to lead teams of flight controllers, engineers, and countless professionals, both agencywide and internationally. Following a rigorous training program that includes both technical knowledge and leadership skills, they will be ready to oversee human spaceflight missions to, from, and aboard the space station, as well as the lunar missions of NASA's Artemis program.

"Our flight directors are at the forefront of everything that humans do in space," said NASA Flight Operations Director Steve Koerner. "We place a huge responsibility upon them individually to take any necessary action to ensure the safety of our astronauts, the safety of the spacecraft, and to accomplish the mission. These four join a storied group of individuals. We're excited to have them and know they are up for the task."

With the addition of this new class, the role of flight director has been held by only 101 individuals across NASA's history. The new class will follow in the footsteps of Apollo-era flight directors, such as Gene Kranz and the namesake of the Mission Control Center, Christopher C. Kraft.

Becoming a NASA flight director is no easy task. Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree in a STEM field like engineering or computer science. They also must have a background of professional experience, especially in a high-stress environment requiring fast-paced decision-making.

"I am excited to welcome the flight director class of 2021. These outstanding individuals bring with them an array of different skillsets, leadership styles, and meaningful hands-on experience that will lead NASA and human spaceflight far into the future," said NASA Chief Flight Director Holly Ridings. "I have the utmost confidence they will excel in their new roles."

Meet NASA's newest flight directors, all of whom began their NASA careers at Johnson:

Diane Dailey

Dailey started her career at NASA in 2006 in the space station Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) group. As an ECLSS flight controller, she logged more than 1,700 hours of console time, supported 10 space shuttle missions, and led the ECLSS team for Expedition 22. She transitioned to the Integration and System Engineering (ISE) group, where she was the lead flight controller for the 10th and 21st Commercial Resupply Services missions for SpaceX.

In addition, she was the ISE lead for NASA's SpaceX Demo-1 and Demo-2 crew spacecraft test flights, working from development through splashdown to contribute to the successful return of American spaceflight capability from the United States to the space station. Dailey also is a capsule communicator (capcom) controller and instructor. Most recently, she served as the group lead for the electrical and mechanical systems team.

Dailey was raised in Lubbock, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.

Chloe Mehring

Mehring started her NASA career in 2008 in the Flight Operations' propulsion systems group and supported 11 space shuttle missions. She served as propulsion support officer for Exploration Flight Test-1, the first test flight of the Orion spacecraft that will be used for Artemis missions to the Moon.

Mehring is a lead NASA propulsion officer for SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft and serves as backup lead for the Boeing Starliner spacecraft. In this role, she supported the Boeing Pad Abort Test and was the ascent/entry propulsion officer for Starliner's first test flight, Orbital Flight Test-1. On the SpaceX side, she was the NASA propulsion officer for the In-Flight Abort Test, as well as the Demo-1 and Demo-2 test flights.

She originally is from Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in State College.

Fiona Turett

Turett began her NASA career in 2009 in Safety and Mission Assurance, supporting propulsion system safety for the last nine space shuttle missions. She later served as a program director for Manna Project International in Managua, Nicaragua, for a year before returning to NASA and becoming a flight controller and instructor for the space station's Motion Control System.

Turett was the Expedition 56 control system lead for both crew training and real-time operations. She then was the lead for operational integration of the Gateway outpost that will orbit the Moon and the lunar Human Landing System programs, and served as Flight Operations lead for Gateway's Power and Propulsion Element before becoming the Flight Operations integration manager for Gateway.

She originally is from Rochester Hills, Michigan, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

Brandon Lloyd

Lloyd began his NASA career in 2008, developing Orion crew training systems. Lloyd later became a space station Environmental and Thermal Operating Systems (ETHOS) flight controller and logged more than 3,000 hours of console time, serving as ETHOS lead for Northrop Grumman's first commercial resupply services mission, Orbital-1, several spacewalks, and Expedition 42.

He was the ETHOS lead for integration for the Boeing Starliner spacecraft, and led development of joint emergency operations for the NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Lloyd also was capcom lead for emergency operations, and SpaceX's 17th Commercial Resupply Mission. Most recently, he served as the Avionics Trainee Group lead, responsible for training and certification of new flight controllers.

Lloyd was raised in Plano, Texas, and graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a minor in entrepreneurship.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 47703
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-13-2022 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mosaic Flight: NASA's 100th flight director leads Mission Control

For over 60 years and more than 230 missions, teams of dedicated engineers and specialists in NASA's Mission Control have provided ground support for astronauts in space and on the moon. Out of the thousands of people who staffed the consoles and backroom support areas in that time, less than 100 have led the room.

That is until earlier this week, when Fiona Turett completed her first solo shift as NASA's 100th flight director.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2022 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a