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For release: 05/12/04
Release #: 04-138  

Teresa Vanhooser named deputy director of Flight Projects at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Photo description: Vanhooser

NASA veteran Teresa Vanhooser has been appointed deputy director of the Flight Projects Directorate at the Marshall Center. She will help lead the team responsible for managing scientific research aboard the International Space Station, pursuing advanced concepts, developing space systems and life-support equipment, and continuing the science successes of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Photo: Vanhooser (NASA/MSFC)

NASA veteran Teresa Vanhooser has been appointed deputy director of the Flight Projects Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Vanhooser will help lead an organization responsible for managing the operation of scientific research aboard the International Space Station; developing, integrating and maintaining space systems and life-support equipment, developing and operating ground systems, managing NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory; and pursuing advanced concepts.

"Flight Projects is a great place to be, with such a talented workforce, and I'm looking forward to stepping into my new role as deputy," Vanhooser said. "There are many exciting developments in the nation's Space Program on the horizon, and I want to do my part in seeing us attain even greater achievements in every aspect of our work."

Vanhooser most recently served as manager of the Payload Operations and Integration Department, which manages all International Space Station science research experiment operations, payload training and safety programs for the Station crew and ground support personnel. In 2000 Vanhooser was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service — an elite corps of men and women who administer public programs at top levels of the federal government.

During her 24 years at NASA, she has held a variety of progressively responsible positions, including mission manager of the second ATLAS mission — the Space Shuttle-borne remote-sensing laboratory that studied the Earth's atmosphere and the Sun's influence on it and our climate system; mission manager of the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 — where 29 experiments were performed in a pressurized Spacelab module onboard the Space Shuttle in 1997; and manager of the Space Station Utilization Office.

As deputy director of Flight Projects, Vanhooser will share responsibility with Director Tony Lavoie for several major NASA programs. The Flight Projects Directorate manages the Chandra Observatory, the world's largest and most powerful X-ray telescope. Launched in 1999, Chandra has achieved numerous scientific firsts, revealing new details on all categories of astronomical objects including distant galaxies, planets, black holes and stars.

The directorate also develops and integrates space station components such as Nodes 2/3, and the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, which carries supplies aboard the Space Shuttle to and from the Space Station. In addition, the directorate provides technical support to the current Station life support system and is developing advanced regenerative life support systems for future use onboard the orbiting outpost. Flight Projects also develops and operates ground systems, payload racks, and payload support systems for accommodating payloads onboard Station.

"Teresa has made a significant contribution to the past and present performance of the directorate, and her unique talents and capabilities will blend very well with mine in collectively leading the directorate in this exciting time," said Lavoie. "Her experience in managing the payload operations effort, as well as past experience as a mission manager — where she was exposed to the flight systems side of space operations — will serve her well in this new role, and we all look forward to having her in this critical position."

Vanhooser is a native of Johnson City, Tenn., where her parents Denny and Dolores Bowman still live. She graduated from University High in 1976, and earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville in 1980. It was there that a visit from NASA representatives first piqued her interest in the space program. "When they came to school and talked about all the exciting work they were doing with the Space Shuttle and Spacelab missions, I knew I wanted to work for them," said Vanhooser.

Vanhooser earned a Master's in Administrative Science and Project Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1986, and she has completed numerous executive and management-level training courses.

During her 24 years at NASA, she has received several awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for her management of the ATLAS-2 mission. Tennessee Tech's Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering awarded Vanhooser its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000. She was presented a Silver Snoopy award for her support of the ATLAS-1 mission. Silver Snoopies are presented by the Astronaut Corps to individuals who have contributed to the success of human space flight missions.

Vanhooser and her husband Mike, a project manager in Marshall's Science Directorate, have two daughters, Heather and Holly.

For more information:
News release

Steve Roy
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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