Gregory N. Katnik
Space Shuttle KSC Integration Office
Gregory N. Katnik is a technical manager currently serving in the Space Shuttle KSC Integration Office at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. He coordinates the launch planning, engineering, and mission preparation activities of Shuttle orbiters Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. This activity includes spacecraft post-flight operations, maintenance, repairs, improvements, tests, payload interfaces to the orbiter, and computer software. As an assistant to the astronaut managing Launch Operations, Katnik works a variety of issues, from technical problems to enhancements, affecting the Shuttle fleet.
Katnik began his NASA career in 1983 in the Shuttle Engineering Directorate as an aerospace engineer. He worked in an operational environment assembling Solid Rocket Booster segments, joining an External Tank to the Boosters, and finally, attaching an orbiter to the Tank to make a complete Space Shuttle. He was assigned to several engineering inspection teams which included pre-launch assembly and checkout, final inspection after cryogenic fueling, post-launch pad damage, solid rocket boosters after ocean retrieval, orbiter after landing, and other hazardous operations. The teams not only verified proper operation of mechanical systems, but detected and fixed problems. Katnik assumed leadership of these inspection teams in 1990 on Shuttle mission STS-35.
Katnik also undertook directorship of the Image Analysis Laboratory, a facility that uses high speed films, videos, and digital data to analyze and enhance Shuttle launch events. He developed an expertise in film analysis leading to participation in the Challenger accident investigation along with consulting jobs on Delta, Atlas, and Titan launch failures.
Katnik enjoys working with the Public Affairs Office. He supplied archival launch film footage, acted as a technical consultant, and gave interviews or made on-screen appearances in the following media projects: Challenger Accident documentary (1987); NASA Radio, "The Space Story - Ice Team" (1990); NBC, " I Witness Video" (1993); The Discovery Channel, "Space Shuttle" (1994); Beyond (Australian), "Space Shuttle" (1995); Mary Tyler Moore Productions weekly TV drama, "The Cape" (1996); the Bruce Willis movie, "Armageddon" (1997); local Channel 2 documentary, "Atlantis Up Close At Countdown" (2001); CNN, "What It Takes To Make A Shuttle Fly" (2001); National Geographic/New York Science Times, "Rocket Ranch" (2002); and various pieces for the KSC Visitor Complex. Katnik also answers technical questions for NASA Quest "Kids Ask NASA" program.
Katnik was awarded Exceptional Achievement Medals in October 2000, for STS-92 Final Inspection Team activities preventing a hazardous launch condition, and in July 2004, for support of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
Biographies - Current Employees