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For release: 11-01-04
Release #: 04-262  

NASA's Ann Richardson McNair named mission operations laboratory manager at Marshall Space Flight Center

Photo description: McNair

Ann Richardson McNair has been named manager of the Mission Operations Laboratory at Marshall Center. As manager of the laboratory, McNair is responsible for development of mission operations requirements for the International Space Station and conducting flight and ground operations during missions. She manages 120 civil service and 400 contract employees, including the staff and facilities of the Payload Operations Center – the command post at Marshall for all science activities on the Space Station. The laboratory is part of Marshall's Engineering Directorate, which provides development and research engineering services for the Center.

Photo: McNair (NASA/MSFC)



Ann Richardson McNair has been named manager of the Mission Operations Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

As manager of the laboratory, McNair is responsible for development of mission operations requirements for the International Space Station and conducting flight and ground operations during missions. She manages 120 civil service and 400 contract employees, including the staff and facilities of the Payload Operations Center — the command post at Marshall for all science activities on the Space Station. The laboratory is part of Marshall's Engineering Directorate, which provides development and research engineering services for the Center.

"NASA and the Marshall Center are implementing a number of changes that will continue to fulfill the Agency's mission of exploration, and I'm fortunate to be a part of the team," said McNair. "All of these changes will help us reach the goal of returning to the Moon and traveling beyond, while at the same time inspiring the next generation of explorers."

McNair previously served as manager of the Ground Systems Department in the Flight Projects Directorate at the Marshall Center. The department works with ground controllers and scientists to develop computer and communications systems to monitor and control experiments on the Space Station. The Flight Projects Directorate is responsible for managing scientific research aboard the Space Station, continuing the science successes of the Chandra X-ray Observatory — the world's most powerful X-ray telescope — and pursuing advanced concepts such as space solar power and space elevators.

McNair b egan her career in Huntsville in 1958 at the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal with German scientist Wernher von Braun and his group of engineers and scientists that developed the Saturn rocket program that first took astronauts to the Moon in 1969. As part of that team, she designed computer systems used to calculate and track orbital trajectories of satellites and flight vehicles. When NASA was created in October 1958, she joined the Agency where she has held various technical, engineering and supervisory positions in the Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, Space Lab and Space Station programs.

McNair has received numerous awards during her time at Marshall. She is a two-time recipient of NASA's Exceptional Service Medal. Honored in both 1974 and 1988, she was recognized for her significant, sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creativity in daily work. She also was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1998 for her significant, specific contributions to NASA's mission.

McNair earned her bachelor's degree in theoretical and mathematical physics in 1958 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

A Tuscaloosa native, McNair and her husband have one daughter and live in Huntsville. Her brother, John Robert Richardson, lives in Tuscaloosa.

http://www.nasa.gov

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