Huntsville native Susan Gattis Turner helps lead Space Launch Initiative at NASA Marshall Center

Press Release From: Marshall Space Flight Center
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2002

Susan Gattis Turner - a Huntsville, Ala., native -- has been named manager of the Flight Demonstrations Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

She will play a key role in NASA's Space Launch Initiative - a program to develop and test key technologies for the next generation reusable launch vehicle, which is managed by the Marshall Center. Earlier this year, she served as deputy manager of Flight Demonstration and Experiments Integration at Marshall.

In her new role, Turner leads a team of scientists and engineers in testing space vehicles in Earth's atmosphere or for space missions.

Turner joined the Marshall Center in 1986, after working for three years as an engineer for the Directed Energy Directorate at the U.S. Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. She served as chief of Marshall's Propulsion System Design Branch in 1992, as assistant director of the Propulsion Laboratory in 1997 and as project manager of the X-37 flight demonstrator project in 1998.

While working at the Marshall Center, Turner led design efforts for the National Launch System and future reusable launch vehicles. She has also worked on the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor, the Inertial Upper Stage propulsion system and the International Space Station.

In 1983, Turner earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Auburn University. She earned a master's degree in engineering in 1990 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in engineering.

During her career at the Marshall Center, Turner has received numerous awards for exceptional performance including several Special Service Awards, the Director's Commendation Award and a NASA Group Achievement Award.

"Growing up with the space program in my backyard was a tremendous influence on me becoming an engineer," said Turner. "Being a part of the space program and the growth of my community is very special."

A 1979 graduate of Huntsville High School, Turner is the daughter of Anne and Earl Gattis.

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