Kathy Lueders named first woman to head NASA’s Human Spaceflight Office

Image Source: NASA / Kim Shiflett

NASA official Kathy Lueders, who headed NASA’s commercial crew program, was recently announced as the head of Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

She replaces Doug Loverro, who resigned from the agency last month.

The announcement was made by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who added, “Kathy has successfully managed both the Commercial Crew & Commercial Cargo programs and is the right person to lead HEO as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon in 2024.”

According to a press released by NASA, “Kathy gives us the extraordinary experience and passion we need to continue to move forward with Artemis and our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024,” said Bridenstine. “She has a deep interest in developing commercial markets in space, dating back to her initial work on the space shuttle program. From Commercial Cargo and now Commercial Crew, she has safely and successfully helped push to expand our nation’s industrial base. Kathy’s the right person to extend the space economy to the lunar vicinity and achieve the ambitious goals we’ve been given.”

Lueders started her career at NASA around three decades ago in 1992. She was initially associated with the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, where she served as the Depot Manager of the Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System and Reaction Control Systems. Subsequently, she moved to the International Space Station Program and served as transportation integration manager, where she led commercial cargo resupply services to the space station.

She has been leading NASA’s commercial crew program since 2014. Recently on 30th May, Lueders also oversaw the launch two astronauts on a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station, making it the first crewed commercial flight into space.

Many congratulations to Kathy Lueders on this fantastic achievement. We hope she inspired millions of women across the globe to choose a career in science and space technology.

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