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Dr. Lorraine E. Prokop

NASA Technical Fellow for Software

Dr. Prokop currently serves as the NASA Technical Fellow for Software.  She joined NASA in 1987 as a developer and software project manager at Johnson Space Center, and has over 30 years of software experience, primarily focusing on architecture, design, development, and management of large, real-time, safety-critical software systems supporting human-rated programs.

Early in her career, she led projects developing Mission Control Center ground systems, first to update the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center with distributed workstation technology, and then to build up the Space Station Mission Control Center telemetry and command data systems from conception to operations.  

Mid-career, her focus shifted from Ground Systems to Flight Systems, where she held progressively more challenging positions in support of major programs.  She served as the software architect for the Orion and Altair Projects.  She led teams to build the Morpheus Lander software and the Orion Backup Flight System.  Prior to her Technical Fellow position, Dr. Prokop served as the System Manager for Human-Rated software on the Artemis Human Landing System (HLS) spacecraft.

Dr. Prokop is an advocate of reusable spacecraft software, and for several years served as the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Core Flight Software (CFS) project lead. She helped establish reusable and open-source human-rated software products for use across the Agency, academia, industry, and International Partners.  Results of this effort continue to benefit the Agency, across NASA Centers and Programs such as Artemis, by supporting low-cost, rapid access to space with reduced risk.

Dr. Prokop continues to enjoy hands-on, embedded, real-time software development, and strives to remain well versed in the rapidly changing field by serving as a developer on the projects she leads.  Lore’s hands-on software development tasks span her career, including a Space Shuttle laser docking sensor, Space Station radiation sensor, GPS sensor, and payload data bus, X-38 electro-mechanical actuator software, a Morpheus navigation interface, and most recently, the Orion Optical Navigation software.

Dr. Prokop has published several papers in real-time software and robotics throughout her career.  Her dissertation emphasis was in telerobotics optimization through increased sensory feedback.  She has been recognized with several prestigious awards for engineering accomplishments, including the National Rotary Stellar Award, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, JSC Certificate of Commendation, Group Achievement Awards, and the Silver Snoopy for her direct contribution to human spaceflight safety.

Dr. Prokop received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees, all in Computer Science, from the University of Houston in 1987, 1990, and 2001, respectively. She was born in Buffalo, New York, resides in Houston, Texas, and has two children. In her leisure time, she travels often and is an avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking, swimming, sailing, and exploring new outdoor destinations.