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A portrait of Kennedy Space Center's Cliff Lanham.

Cliff Lanham

Senior Vehicle Operations Manager, Exploration Ground Systems

Cliff Lanham is the senior vehicle operations manager for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) Program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He has worked with EGS, primarily in the operations and ground systems development areas, for 11 years.

Stepping into this role in October 2020, he is responsible for the overall management, planning, integration, and execution of all operational activities required for the launch readiness of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Artemis deep space flight missions.


From June 2016 to September 2020, he was the senior project manager for the mobile launcher (ML). In this role, he was responsible for all design, development, fabrication, construction, and testing of the ML structure, ground support systems, and facility systems. He also was responsible for all multi-element verification and validation between the ML and Vehicle Assembly Building, and the ML and Launch Pad 39B.

Before starting at Kennedy in 2007, he worked with Orbital Sciences Corp., which is now Northrup Grumman, at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for 16 years. He supported missions servicing the Hubble Space Telescope and supplying hardware to the International Space Station. Lanham has worked in the aerospace industry for a total of 30 years, 28 of which have been with NASA and NASA contractor organizations.


Lanham graduated from Glen Burnie High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland, in 1984. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 1989 and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the George Washington University in 1998.


Lanham was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently lives in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with his wife and son.

Biography last updated January 2023