Michelle Munk serves as the Chief Architect (Acting) for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters. In this role, she advises executive leadership in establishing a long-term vision for STMD investments and the robust NASA space tech portfolio.
Ms. Munk has over 30 years of experience in orbital mechanics, trajectory simulation, flight hardware development, and technology management from four different NASA centers. Within STMD, she has been the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Systems Capability Leader since 2017 and the Principal Technologist for EDL technologies since 2013. Munk is also currently the Principal Investigator for two Commercial Lunar Payload Services payloads. Her past work includes nine years as the Lead Engineer and Project Manager for the In-Space Propulsion Technology Aerocapture project, lead for the NASA TX9 Technology Roadmap, and Deputy Project Manager and subsystem lead for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation flight payload. During her early career, she supported human lunar and Mars architecture studies, starting with the Human Mars Design Reference Architecture 3.0.
Munk has a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech, and she started her career as a cooperative education student at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She is an AIAA Associate Fellow and has several publications and NASA group and individual achievement awards, including the Space Flight Awareness Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the NASA Technology Achievement Medal.