HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Teresa Vanhooser has been named deputy director of the Exploration Launch Projects Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. She replaces Dan Dumbacher, who was recently named director of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall.
Vanhooser will assist in overall project management of NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle, which will transport the Orion spacecraft and its crew of astronauts to space. The office, with more than 1,450 employees, is responsible for overall integration of the launch vehicle system.
It's also responsible for development of a first stage derived from the current space shuttle booster and motor elements, as well as a new upper stage powered by a Saturn V-derived J-2X main engine. The projects office also is responsible for development of NASA's future Ares V cargo launch vehicle and Earth departure stage, which will carry heavy-lift payloads to space for use by exploration missions on the moon and destinations beyond.
From August 2004 until May 2007, Vanhooser was co-deputy director of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall. She helped lead an organization of nearly 1,400 employees responsible for the design, test, evaluation and operation of hardware and software associated with space transportation, spacecraft systems, and science instruments and payloads under development at the center. The directorate also manages the Payload Operations Center at the Marshall Center - the command post for scientific research experiments on board the International Space Station.
Vanhooser served as deputy director of the Flight Projects Directorate from May to August of 2004, responsible for project management, design, development, integration, testing and operations of ground and flight systems for the space station, along with overseeing operations of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory - the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. The directorate also managed the multi-purpose logistics modules, or moving vans used to carry supplies via the space shuttle to the station.
From 2000 to 2004, Vanhooser was manager of the Payload Operations and Integration Department, overseeing all space station science research experiment operations, payload training and safety programs for the station crew and ground support personnel, and the development, integration and delivery of multiple payload racks.
From 1987 to 2000, Vanhooser served in the Flight Projects Office in a variety of leadership positions, including manager of the Space Station Utilization Office, mission manager of Microgravity Science Laboratory-1, assistant mission manager for the first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) mission and manager of the second ATLAS mission - the space shuttle-borne, remote-sensing lab that studied Earth's atmosphere, as well as the sun's influence on Earth and its climate system.
Vanhooser began her NASA career in 1980 as an engineer in Marshall's Ground Systems Analysis Branch. She has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including the 2007 Engineer of Distinction Award - the highest award offered to alumni from the College of Engineering at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. In 2006, she was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives, the highest honor for career federal employees. She received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1994 for her management of the
ATLAS-2 mission, and in 1992, she was presented a Silver Snoopy award by the Astronaut Corps for her contributions to the success of human space flight missions, specifically for her support of the ATLAS-1 mission.
Vanhooser is a native of Johnson City, Tenn. She earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1980 and a master's degree in administrative science and project management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1986.