University of Kentucky alumna Rebecca J. Wingfield is one of six women and men selected to join the elite corps of flight directors who will lead mission control for a variety of new operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“This is an outstanding group of future tactical leaders for the Flight Operations Directorate,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at Johnson. “We are excited to have them come on board.”
Wingfield, from Princeton, Kentucky, interned at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UK in 2007. She joined the flight control team at Johnson Space Center in 2007 as a contractor with United Space Alliance, overseeing maintenance tasks that the astronauts perform in space. She went on to become a CAPCOM, speaking to the crew on behalf of the control team, and a chief training officer, preparing space station crews for their missions. She also holds a master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
“The job of flight director is not an easy one, and we make these selections very carefully,” said Holly Ridings, acting chief of the Flight Director Office at Johnson. “We had a great group of applicants, so we were able to choose six individuals who have worked in many areas of human spaceflight. They’ll bring a lot of good experience to the role that will serve NASA well as we undertake new and exciting missions.”
Wingfield and her colleagues will begin extensive training on flight control and vehicle systems, as well as operational leadership and risk management, before they are ready to sit behind the flight director console in mission control supporting NASA’s astronauts. When they do, they will become part of a group that numbers fewer than 100.
This article is a modified version of NASA’s July 10 press release. To read the full release, click here.