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A portrait of Shawn Quinn, newly selected manager of the Exploration Ground Systems.

Shawn Quinn

Manager, Exploration Ground Systems

Shawn Quinn is the manager of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. 

In this position, he is responsible for leading the government and contractor team that is preparing the ground systems, infrastructure, facilities, and operations required to process and launch NASA’s space launch systems and spacecraft in support of the Artemis program and our nation’s return to the Moon. 


Prior to his current role, Quinn was director of Engineering, where he led a large organization of engineers from multiple disciplines in the design, development, and operations of spaceflight hardware and ground systems in support of programs and projects assigned to the Kennedy Space Center, including Commercial Crew, Launch Services, Exploration Ground Systems, and the International Space Station. 

Quinn has previous experience with the Exploration Ground Systems Program, where he served as the associate program manager. In that position, he was responsible for ground systems development activities, including design, development, integration, fabrication, construction, activation, and verification and validation of facilities, systems, ground support equipment, and operations planning and execution activities leading to NASA’s exploration missions. 

Preceding his appointment to the senior executive service, Quinn was the Vehicle Integration and Launch Integration Product Team (VIL IPT) manager. He was responsible for the operations and development of systems at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39, including the launch pads, mobile launcher, crawler transporter and Vehicle Assembly Building. As manager of the IPT, Quinn oversaw the overall planning and implementation of modifications of Launch Complex 39 systems to support the processing and launch of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft.

Quinn also served as the chief of the Lunar Systems Division in Kennedy’s Constellation Project Office. He was responsible for development of operations concepts and systems to support ground processing and launch of NASA’s lunar spacecraft, including landers and surface systems planned for future human and robotic missions. In this capacity, he had oversight for lunar-phase architecture planning for Kennedy in support of the Lunar Capability Concept Review. Prior to his assignment in the Constellation Project Office, he was the requirements and operations manager in the Kennedy Exploration Office.

Quinn has nearly 30 years of experience at Kennedy. He first joined NASA in 1985 in the Engineering Cooperative Education Program at Kennedy while studying for his degree in electrical engineering. As an undergraduate, he also assisted in the development of computer vision systems at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Early in his career, Quinn designed computer hardware and developed real-time command, control and simulation systems in support of space shuttle launch operations. Over the next few years, he led several shuttle launch processing system upgrade projects. He was selected as shuttle processing chief for the Ground, Command and Data Systems Branch in 1999, where he was responsible for command and control systems in the shuttle Launch Control Center and at Launch Complex 39.

In 2002, he served as a project manager in the Biological Sciences Office where he contributed to the development of strategic plans in the area of bioregenerative life support systems. In 2003, he was selected as the deputy manager of the Orbital Space Plane Operations and Integration Office at Kennedy.


Quinn has received several awards during his NASA career, including the Presidential Rank Award, Kennedy Space Center Strategic Leadership Award, NASA Silver Snoopy Award, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and Spaceflight Awareness Award for Technical Leadership. He also is the recipient of several Group Achievement Awards for contributions to the Space Shuttle Program, development of technology for Integration Vehicle Health Management Systems, Lunar Architecture Studies and Lunar Lander Studies.


Quinn earned a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 1994. In 2006, he was selected for the NASA Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Accelerated Leadership Fellowship and entered the MIT System Design and Management Program. He completed the program in 2008 with a master’s degree in engineering and management.

Biography last updated January 2023