Join us for In-Person Breakfast
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
at The Jackson Center
6001 Moquin Drive Huntsville, Alabama 35806
Breakfast Begins at 7:15am
Program Starts at 7:45am
Click here to get registered:
Our Featured Speaker
Mark Kirasich is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Advanced Exploration Systems within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Kirasich is responsible for leading the development and operations of a sustainable lunar architecture, including an orbiting gateway, landing and surface systems, and developing advanced exploration capabilities in preparation for missions to Mars.
Prior to coming to NASA Headquarters, Kirasich was the manager of NASA’s Orion Program. As Orion Program Manager, he was responsible for design, development and testing of the Orion spacecraft, which is being developed to send astronauts to deep space destinations, as well as for spacecraft manufacturing under way at locations across the country and in Europe.
Kirasich began his NASA career in 1983 at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as a member of the space shuttle flight operations team. Mr. Kirasich advanced to the position of lead space shuttle payload officer in mission control. In 1996, he was selected as a flight director in charge of planning and executing NASA human spaceflight missions, serving in that capacity for multiple space shuttle missions and International Space Station expeditions. He also served as the lead NASA flight director for the Automated Transfer Vehicle, working with European and Russian colleagues to develop operational plans to conduct the first successful docking of this spacecraft to the space station. Between 2006 and his selection as Orion Program manager in 2015, he served as Orion’s deputy program manager.
A native of Chicago, Kirasich received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from Stanford University. He is the recipient of numerous awards including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and Space Flight Awareness Award, and a Johnson Space Center Director’s Commendation.