Page 49

Frontiers December 2013—January 2014 Issue

for the Mission Control team, she said, is ensuring they are prepared for unexpected occurrences—particularly those that could jeopardize the satellite. For example, a spacecraft could spin or tumble in an unacceptable manner. When that happens, she said, the team’s first responsibility is to ensure the satellite is safe; then experts are brought together to find a solution to the problem. “Our mission teams are amazing,” Hartman said. “When there’s a spacecraft in orbit, it’s everyone’s highest priority. If I call someone at home at 11 o’clock at night and tell them I need their help, they’re on it immediately.” Many who work in Mission Control were inspired as children by space missions that were taking place at the time. “I was a space geek when I was a kid,” said Leber, whose father was a U.S. Air Force pilot. The space shuttle program was underway when Leber was in college. Hartman’s path to becoming a mission director also began when she was very young, watching episodes of Star Trek with her mother. In elementary school she loved classes in science and math. When she got to high school, her physics teacher encouraged her to go to Illinois Space Academy, a space camp–type program at the campus of the University of Illinois. When she went on to enroll at Illinois as an undergraduate, she decided to major in aerospace engineering. She joined Hughes in 1999 after receiving a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. “I just love being in the Mission Control Center,” she said. “I love the fact that we’re flying a real satellite and that we’re providing a quality product to our customer that they’re going to use for 15-plus years to provide services to their customers. We have a quality team here at Boeing, and it’s just exciting to see people at work, solving problems and all working toward a common goal.” n william.j.seil@boeing.com PHOTOS: (From far left) Carrie Hartman is one of the mission directors at Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems whose job is to complete the launch, deployment, on-orbit checkout and delivery of a satellite; Eric Pahl, left, and Jennifer Rysanek are part of the Mission Control team supporting a commercial satellite mission, with Pahl serving as flight director and Rysanek overseeing astrodynamics. BOB FERGUSON/BOEING In Inmarsat’s London offices, Mark Dickinson, left, vice president of Satellite Operations at Inmarsat, and Boeing’s Doug Leber share mission director responsibilities for the Inmarsat-5 satellite mission. ASSOCIATED PRESS BOEING FRONTIERS / DECEMBER 2013–JANUARY 2014 49


Frontiers December 2013—January 2014 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above