African American Heritage Month Profile: Kwatsi Alibaruho, Flight Director
As flight director, Kwatsi Alibaruho is responsible for providing technical expertise in one or more phases of space station and space shuttle missions. He also plans, directs and controls the activities of the ground support team during real time mission operations,and evaluates mission objectives to insure crew safety. Alibaruho has also served as the group lead for the International Space Station Life Support Systems Group in the Mission Operations Directorate, responsible for directing the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems flight control team.
Alibaruho was born in Maywood, Illinois and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science in avionics. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, 2009, and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Award.
Center Contact: James Hartsfield, 281-483-5111
HQ Contact: Sonja Alexander, 202-358-1761
Cut 1 (:52) - "I chose the name “Defiant” as the team designation for my team and my flight director name. For me what is represents is a resistance to things that would hinder us as we chose to explore space. At the time I was certified we had just returned to flight following STS-114 and there still a great deal of fear, a great deal of trepidation concerning the safety of the shuttle some uncertainty going forward. I wanted my team call sign and my behavior as a flight director to represent a bold resistance of fear, a bold resistance against complacency, a bold resistance against even exhaustion, as we pressed forward to explore space which of course is what we a e here to do.."
› Play Now
Cut 2 (:31) - "I’ve always been interested in space. It’s always been a dream of mine to be involved in space, when I think about the types of television shows, movie or, books that I have been interested in, they have always focused on space. So working for NASA has been an opportunity for me to really indulge my fascination and passion for space. While remaining engaged in what my mother would call “honest work”, so that’s what it has really meant to me."
› Play Now