Kathy Lueders is NASA’s First Female Director of Human Spaceflight

Lauders will be heading the Human Exploration Mission, that’s working to get astronauts back to the moon by 2024

2 min read
Kathy Lueders will be NASA’s first female director of human spaceflight.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Friday, 12 June, announced that Kathy Lueders will be its first female director of human spaceflight. Lauders will be heading the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate, that’s working to get astronauts back on the moon by 2024.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “Kathy gives us the extraordinary experience and passion we need to continue to move forward with Artemis and our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024.”

Leuders led NASA’s Commercial Crew Program before her promotion. Since 2014, she has directed the agency’s efforts to send astronauts to space on private spacecraft. One such spacecraft carried two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30 on a mission called Demo-2.

Kathy Leueder’s Career With NASA

Leuders joined NASA in 1992 and began her career as the manager of the Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System and Reaction Control Systems Depot at the company’s test facility in New Mexico. She then served as transportation integration manager at the International Space Station Program.

After overseeing international partner spacecraft visiting the space station for NASA, she went on to become the acting Commercial Crew Program Manager in 2013 and later took over as its head in 2014.

“She has a deep interest in developing commercial markets in space, dating back to her initial work on the space shuttle program. From Commercial Cargo and now Commercial Crew, she has safely and successfully helped push to expand our nation’s industrial base. Kathy’s the right person to extend the space economy to the lunar vicinity and achieve the ambitious goals we’ve been given.”
Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator 

Kathy Lueders educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the New Mexico State University.

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