Kennedy Biographies

Text Size


Kenneth Tenbusch
Deputy Partner Manager
NASA's Commercial Crew Program


Ken Tenbusch is the NASA deputy partner manager working with Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) for the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. Through phases with aerospace industry partners, NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) is leading the nation's effort to facilitate commercial vehicle development and certification to enable the safe transportation of NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations. During CCiCap, SNC will make significant progress developing and testing its integrated Dream Chaser spacecraft and United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket combination.

Before becoming deputy partner manager for SNC at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Tenbusch was the NASA partner manager for Alliant Techsystems (ATK) during CCP's Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2). In that role, he led the Partner Integration Team, called the PIT Crew, that worked closely with ATK while the company developed its Liberty launch vehicle.

Prior to joining CCP, Tenbusch supported the development of the Constellation Program's Ares I upper stage and was prepared to manage the construction of that Ares I upper stage for crew transport missions once the system became operational. In 2010, the agency began to look to its commercial partners to send astronaut crews to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station and formed the Space Transportation Planning Office. This planning effort transitioned into the Commercial Crew Program in 2011.

Tenbusch worked briefly as a space systems analyst at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, prior to joining NASA in 1990 as an external tank mechanical systems engineer. In 1993, he joined the NASA test directors, conducting various operations from the Launch Control Center control rooms at Kennedy. He later became certified and worked as a landing recovery director and NASA convoy commander in the late 1990s and early part of the 2000s.

In 2003, Tenbusch was appointed as the external tank/solid rocket booster operations manager, and a few years later, took a position with the Marshall Space Flight Center Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project in the Kennedy resident office. In October 2007, he worked as Endeavour's flow director where he was the manager responsible for ground process integration of the shuttles, including the orbiter, external tank, solid rocket boosters and payloads in the orbiter processing facilities, Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads, that were associated with Endeavour's STS-123 and STS-126 missions.

Tenbusch has received numerous honors, including the Spaceflight Awareness Honoree Award, the Silver Snoopy Award and the Center's Gold Cross of Excellence. He's also received several Group Achievement awards, one of which for his work during CCDev2.

Tenbusch was born in Flint, Mich., in 1963, and graduated from Venice High School in Florida in 1982. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida in 1987 and received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida in 1993.

October 2012

Biographies - Current Employees