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More Faces Behind NASA’s Artemis Gateway

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the next man and first woman on the Moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable presence around the Moon with Gateway. Behind the scenes, the agency has a diverse and dedicated team across the country to make this a reality.

Meet Ginger Flores, manager for Habitation Systems Development Office, who works at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama

Ginger Flores

For Ginger Flores, born in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1969, the same year Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon, pursuing a career at NASA was predestined. 

“Growing up in Rocket City, I was surrounded by symbols of NASA. So, working at NASA became my dream job since I was a small child,” Flores said.  

While attending classes at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH), Flores enjoyed learning about NASA. One of her professors used real-life examples from his job with the International Space Station as class assignments.

Flores earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering from UAH. She began her career at NASA in 2002 at Marshall and managed several innovative projects that helped astronauts work and perform research in a confined space while in orbit.  

“Solving problems that made work easier for astronauts was an experience that really cemented my desire to work for NASA,” Flores said.

In her current role as the Habitation Systems Development Office manager, she leverages her past experiences to develop concepts and design solutions for habitation systems for Gateway, including where the crew will live, work and spend their free time, for longer duration stays on the lunar surface, and eventually for deep space transit to Mars.

“I’m proud to be an early member of the Gateway Program that crosses many centers at the agency and brings folks together with a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds,” Flores said.

Flores’ love for all things space and NASA can be found in the way her life experiences and adventures parallel space exploration.

“I enjoy underwater exploration and feel that is the closest I will get to being an astronaut. There is a sense of peace and rejuvenation that comes with diving that is hard to duplicate.”

Flores is married to her high-school sweetheart and is an animal lover who collects senior rescue dogs. The most recent addition to her dog pack rode out the Nashville tornados of 2020 under an interstate bridge.

Meet Johnny Nguyen, associate manager for Integration and Analysis for Deep Space Logistics, who works at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Johnny Nguyen

A sci-fi fan with Capt. Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek as his role model, Johnny Nguyen’s passion for space exploration led him to join NASA’s Kennedy Space Center 22 years ago.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando with a degree in mechanical engineering, he began working at Kennedy as an intern in 1998 and hasn’t looked back.

Today, Nguyen is the associate manager for integration and analysis in Deep Space Logistics, a Gateway office that will deliver supplies to the lunar outpost via the Gateway Logistics Services contract.

“I assist with setting up what I call project-control stuff,” Nguyen said. “So, it’s all about managing the background and backbone of the project in the areas of budget, resources, workforce, governance, risk and data management, and ways to ensure we collaborate and work together cohesively as a team.”

For Nguyen, being a space exploration expert comes with a strong need for adventure. At the core, Nguyen is an adventure-seeker and an avid traveler. He has traveled to six of the seven continents, taken mountaineering courses, and went on a solo trip to Nepal and into the Himalaya mountains.

“As a mountaineer, the analogy of Gateway as a way station full of supplies for a specific expedition is so relevant and exciting,” Nguyen said. “It’s exploration at the core, with the latest technologies.”

He is a son of Vietnamese refugees and while it took a long time, he now understands what it means to give back to America and takes pride in serving as a civil servant at NASA.  He strongly believes that the mindset of serving others is important, and should be reflected in all parts of our life.  Nguyen is passionate about leadership and has mentored many people along the way ensuring their continued success.

For folks just starting their career at NASA, Nguyen often shares some words of wisdom.

“You have to get to know yourself. Know yourself to the point that you’re comfortable with what you bring to the table and what you don’t. Once you realize that, it makes working in teams even more powerful and you’ll appreciate others more.”

This is the latest in a series of profile featuring the stellar team behind Gateway. Read the first and second web features.

For more information about NASA’s Gateway program, visit: