Kennedy Biographies

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Shannon D. Bartell
Former Director
Safety and Mission Assurance


Shannon Bartell was the director of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) Directorate is Kennedy's focal point for planning and execution of center and program S&MA activities at Kennedy. The directorate provides the primary interface function with the S&MA offices of NASA Headquarters, other centers, other government agencies, international governments and private industry. The primary purpose of Kennedy's S&MA is to ensure operations at Kennedy-responsible sites are conducted in a manner which will achieve mission safety and success. S&MA consists of the safety, reliability, maintainability, software assurance and quality disciplines which are applied to reduce the probability of mishaps, failures, maintenance burden and product flaws.

Bartell's service with NASA began in 1983, in Kennedy's Space Shuttle Project Office, where she developed the justification and approach for the third Orbiter Processing Facility and performed advanced planning on other orbiter ground projects. In 1985, she transferred to the Payload Processing Directorate as an electrical systems engineer. She advanced in responsibilities to be the lead electrical engineer for the Galileo, Magellan and Ulysses space probes, as well as the STS-26R return-to-flight mission.

In the Payloads organization, Bartell progressed through several management positions. She participated in the planning, processing and launch of several Spacelab, Infrared Background Signature Survey, Hubble Space Telescope, Gamma Ray Observatory, United States Microgravity Payload and SPACEHAB missions. In 1992, she served as a member of the space station redesign effort and contributed to the Shuttle C Team at Marshall Space Flight Center. After the space station redesign concluded, she became the deputy of the Space Station Launch Site Support Office and was then selected the director of Payload Flight Systems. When the Payload directorate was reorganized, she became the deputy director of the International Space Station and Payload Processing Directorate.

In 2000, Bartell was asked to put in place an independent assessment organization as the director of Safety, Health and Independent Assessment. As the agency began to define the Exploration Vision, she was asked to be Kennedy's assistant program manager for Orbital Space Plane, and subsequently, director of Kennedy's Exploration Office. As Exploration evolved, Bartell was asked to assist the Kennedy design efforts as deputy of management in Kennedy's Design Engineering Directorate. In 2006, she became the director of Safety and Mission Assurance where she remains today.

Bartell's numerous awards include the Silver Snoopy, Exceptional Service Medal, Exceptional Achievement Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award. She earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Middle Tennessee State University in 1983, and obtained a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida in 1993.

February 2007

Biographies - Current Employees