Michelle Rucker Lead, Mars Integration Group NASA Kennedy Space Center
AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum 2020
Michelle Rucker is 34-year veteran of NASA. She began her career in the Houston oil industry, designing down-hole sensors while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. She began her NASA career as a test engineer at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, initially supporting the space shuttle Challenger accident investigation through solid rocket booster materials testing. At White Sands, she also managed the two-stage light gas gun hypervelocity impact research laboratory and developed environmental control and life support systems for the International Space Station (ISS). Michelle has had the good fortune to participate in a range of exciting projects, such as supervising spacesuit and Extravehicular Activity (EVA) tools development, ISS exercise equipment system engineering, and Orion and Altair lunar lander test and verification. She currently leads the Mars Integration Group, developing crewed Mars mission concepts.