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NASA's Marshall Center Honors Johnson City, Tenn., Native Teresa Vanhooser with Women's Equality Day Award
Betty Humphery
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News Release: 06-126

Teresa Vanhooser Teresa Vanhooser, a native of Johnson City, Tenn., and graduate of Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, has been recognized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as an outstanding achiever.

Vanhooser, deputy director of the Engineering Directorate at the Marshall Center, was given a Women's Equality Day award at a ceremony in August for outstanding performance, dedication and innovation. The awards are presented annually to exceptional federal employees in administrative, clerical, professional and supervisory capacities.

The Women's Equality Day awards are presented by the Combined Women's Federal Programs. The Marshall Center's Women's Program annually joins with other local federal agencies to recognize the work of these individuals, and to celebrate Women's Equality Day and the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote.

Vanhooser helps lead an organization of nearly 1,400 employees responsible for the design, testing, evaluation and operation of hardware and software associated with space transportation, spacecraft systems, and science instruments and payloads under development at the Marshall Center. She was named to her position in August 2004.

The directorate also manages the Payload Operations Center at the Marshall Center -- the command post for scientific research experiments on board the International Space Station.

Vanhooser joined NASA in 1980 as an engineer in the Marshall Center's Ground Systems Analysis Branch, where she developed and documented requirements for integration and testing of payloads for the Spacelab carrier, used to conduct science experiments in the space shuttle payload bay.

From 1987 to 2000, Vanhooser served in the Flight Projects Office, where she was the assistant mission manager for the first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Sciences, or ATLAS, mission. She also managed the second ATLAS mission -- the remote-sensing laboratory carried by the space shuttle that studied Earth's atmosphere, as well as the sun's influence on Earth and its climate system. From 1994 to 1997, she was mission manager of Microgravity Science Laboratory-1, a pressurized Spacelab module that flew on the shuttle in 1997 and enabled astronauts to conduct a series of 29 science experiments.

In 1997, Vanhooser was named manager of the Space Station Utilization Office, where she was responsible for the space station's EXPRESS racks, formally named the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station. The EXPRESS rack is a standardized payload rack system that transports, stores and supports experiments aboard the International Space Station. She oversaw development and integration of the racks and pallets, as well as all space station payload operations.

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. That year, she was named manager of the Payload Operations and Integration Department at Marshall, overseeing all space station science research experiment operations; payload training and safety programs for the station crew and ground support personnel; and development, integration and delivery of multiple payload racks.

Vanhooser served as deputy director of Marshall's Flight Projects Directorate from May to August 2004. She was responsible for project management, design, development, integration, testing and operations of ground and flight systems for the space station, and operational oversight of the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope.

Vanhooser earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1980 from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. She received her master's degree in administrative science and project management in 1986 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

She has received numerous NASA awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1994 for her management of the ATLAS-2 mission. In 1992, the Astronaut Corps presented her a Silver Snoopy award for her contributions during ATLAS-1 to the success of human spaceflight missions. In 2000, she was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Tennessee Technological University.

Vanhooser and her husband have two children and reside in Madison, Ala.

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