Kennedy Biographies

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Charlie Blackwell-Thompson
Assistant NASA Test Director
Launch and Landing Division

Charlie Blackwell-Thompson is an assistant NASA test director (ANTD) for the Launch and Landing Division at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, Fla. She is one of three certified assistant NASA test directors responsible for leading the shuttle team during the planning, scheduling and execution of the shuttle launch countdown. Specifically, the ANTD supports the launch NASA test director with clock management, problem resolution and emergency action management support.

Blackwell-Thompson joined NASA in 2004 as a NASA test director in the Launch and Landing Division. She has been involved with the prelaunch processing operations and launch countdown since Return to Flight. She is also a qualified tanking test director and served in that position for STS-116, STS-117 and STS-118. In addition to her shuttle launch countdown duties, she supports the planning efforts for launch operations in the Constellation Program.

Blackwell-Thompson graduated from Clemson University in 1988 with a degree in computer engineering. She came to Kennedy Space Center after graduation in 1988 as a payload flight software engineer for The Boeing Company. She was responsible for the test and checkout of the avionics systems for many payloads that included the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), and multiple Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) and Spacelab missions. Blackwell-Thompson went on to work in the Lead Electrical Integration Office responsible for the electrical systems checkout for payload flight hardware, as well as the integration of that hardware into the shuttle. She served as the lead electrical engineer for multiple Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions, as well as the research double module (RDM) that flew on STS-107. Prior to coming to the Launch and Landing Division, Blackwell-Thompson served as the ground operations integration lead engineer for the Orbital Space Plane.

Blackwell-Thompson is the holder of multiple patents related to launch vehicle interface standardization concepts, and command and control methods and systems. She has received numerous awards including multiple Space Flight Awareness Team Awards, a KSC Superior Accomplishment Award and the astronaut's Silver Snoopy for her work on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Blackwell-Thompson is a native of Gaffney, S.C., where she graduated from Gaffney High School. She now resides in Merritt Island, Fla., with her husband and three children.

September 2007

Biographies - Current Employees