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For release: 12/18/03
Release #: 03-215  

Work ethic learned on Tennessee family farm fuels Gary Moore's enthusiasm for role in Space Station research


Gary Moore is one of the experts when it comes to knowing how to conduct International Space Station experiments safely using equipment on board. As a crew procedure engineer at the Marshall Center, he analyzes Space Station requirements with the research scientists whose experiments are performed on the orbiting laboratory, and writes procedures for the crew to follow.

Photo: Moore (NASA/MSFC)

Gary Moore watched NASA go to the Moon when he was 8 years old. And, like some people in his hometown of Caney Springs, Tenn., he couldn't quite believe his eyes.

Today, Moore's view has changed quite a bit. He now is part of a team that sends equipment and experiments into space, supporting one of NASA's key programs — the International Space Station.

"Growing up in the country and working hard on the farm, I never dreamed of space travel or being part of the country's space program," he says. Proud of his rural roots, Moore believes that boyhood chores of working with cows and laboring in the tobacco fields helped to instill in him a work ethic that, even today, fuels his enthusiasm for challenges as he plays a role in scientific achievements that might have seemed unbelievable to him more than 30 years ago.

As a crew procedure engineer for NASA contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, Ala., Moore now communicates with scientists worldwide to make sure he knows what they want to accomplish with their Space Station experiments. Based at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Moore attempts to understand all experiments that launch with each new "expedition" to the Space Station — the four-to-six-month research missions to the Station.

Moore is one of the experts when it comes to knowing how to conduct Space Station experiments safely using equipment on board. He analyzes Space Station requirements in order to work with the research scientists whose experiments are performed on the Station, writing procedures for the crew to follow. Moore's work with the scientists maximizes the experiments' science results.

"Coming to work for the space program was the best move I ever made," Moore says. "The opportunities are endless and I'm blessed to work with some of the most brilliant people in the world."

For nearly 15 years, Moore wrote detailed processes for commercial hardware at SCI in Huntsville before bringing his expertise to the Marshall Center. But changing jobs after all those years didn't first come without a bit of apprehension.

After joining the space program in 1998, Moore attended a meeting at Johnson Space Center in Houston, where everyone talked in the acronyms of space travel. Instead of NASA, he says he thought he had entered "The Twilight Zone."

"All I could think was this is a long way from milking cows," Moore says. "I think I'm most proud that I was able to hang in there and now I talk just like everybody else."

This determination to never give up came to Moore early in life. "When I was growing up, I had very bad asthma and almost died," recalls Moore. "As I grew older, I had other health problems and my digestive system was almost destroyed by antibiotics. Now, nutrition is my thing."

A picture of health and now a member of the Huntsville Track Club, Moore has found another hobby: studying nutritional information and spreading the word about healthy living. "I believe the body can cure itself of just about anything, if given the proper nutrition," says Moore.

When he has time, Moore loves to go back to Caney Springs and visit his parents Bruce and Peggy who still live there on the family farm. "I'm very thankful to my parents for the work ethic they instilled in me," Moore says, recalling days spent helping out early in the morning and late in the afternoon. In between, he went to school at Forrest High in nearby Chapel Hill, where there were only 24 in his graduating class of 1972. He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in industrial management from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro in 1982.

Among the many passions in Moore's life are the times he shares with his wife and two teen-age children. Keeping up with their activities, as well as being active in church work is very important to him. The whole family loves to share in the bounty of their garden of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and "some of the biggest tomatoes anywhere."

That's something else no doubt reassuring to those scientists Moore works with and helps to "grow" their experiments in space.

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Steve Roy
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