Dana M. Hutcherson is the deputy manager of the Launch Vehicle Systems Office for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CCP is leading the nation's effort of facilitating 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.
As the deputy manager, she supports the office's manager in leading CCP’s oversight of launch vehicle design, development, testing and operational readiness across the commercial providers, including launch vehicle requirements, development and compliance verification, risk management and overall system certification.
Prior to joining CCP, Hutcherson was a NASA flow director within the Launch Vehicle Processing Directorate. She acquired management responsibility for integrating, scheduling and conducting space shuttle Endeavour's processing operations in February 2009. Her last task for the shuttle program was leading the ground processing team during the final flow of space shuttle Endeavour for its final mission to the International Space Station, STS-134.
Hutcherson joined the nation's space program as a Kennedy team member in 2000. She began her career with United Space Alliance as an airframe engineer, obtaining dual-system certifications in both the Thermal Protection Subsystem and Orbiter Structures System. Her responsibilities included reviewing drawings, writing procedures and verifying system integrity for the orbiter fleet.
In 2004, Hutcherson transitioned into an engineering leadership position with United Space Alliance's Orbiter Element Division where she served as a subsystem engineer in the thermal protection and reinforced carbon carbon systems. Her responsibilities included reviewing and approving flight certifications for orbiter modifications and on-orbit repair techniques in both subsystems.
In 2006, Hutcherson joined NASA as a member of the Shuttle Operations and Integration Division as the vehicle processing engineer for shuttle Atlantis. Her responsibilities included oversight for daily processing tasks to ensure the readiness of the spacecraft for flight.
Hutcherson was promoted to NASA vehicle manager for Atlantis in 2007 where she took on more of a leadership role within the NASA Operations Team for the overall processing of Atlantis from landing through launch. She provided leadership, direction and oversight to planning and scheduling operations and overall management of the processing team. Hutcherson held this position until her appointment as flow director of Endeavour.
Hutcherson has received numerous honors including multiple On the Spot Awards, Group Achievement Awards, a Certificate of Commendation, and NASA's Space Flight Awareness Award. In August 2011, she received a Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award for her exemplary management as the NASA flow director for the Endeavour processing team and her significant contribution toward the agency’s goals.
Born in Savannah, Ga., Hutcherson graduated from Evans High School in Evans, Ga. She received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. While working full time for United Space Alliance, she also earned a Master of Science in industrial engineering of engineering management from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.