Christy Hansen :: NASA Airborn Sciences Program Manager

  • Seattle, WA :: May 17, 2014 :: Benaroya Hall

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Christy’s Biography


Christy’s Education & Experience

BS: Villanova University

  • Major: Comprehensive Science
  • Coursework Examples: Calc 1-3, Differential Equations, Math Physics, Chem, Bio, and Physics’ coursework, etc.
  • Minor: Physics
  • Minor: Women’s Studies
  • Played Division I Big East Volleyball (as a walk-on)

MS: University of North Dakota

  • Major: Space Studies
  • Coursework Examples: Remote Sensing, Orbital Mechanics, Asteroids, Meteors and Comets, Life Support Systems in Space, Human Factors in Space, Life in the Universe (Astrobiology), Space Vehicle Design, The Russian Space Program, The History of Spaceflight, etc.

Christy Hansen

Christy on deployment to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for her Operation IceBridge airborne science project. On this one day, they were able to visit Russell glacier, which is about 15-20 miles from town. What you are seeing is the terminus, or end, of the glacier, also called an ice fall in this case. This glacier feeds into the large ice sheet that occupies most of Greenland.

Career History

1999-2010: EVA Operations Engineer

  • Worked at Johnson Space Center as a certified astronaut instructor and flight controller in the EVA (extra-vehicular activity) group; aka, “spacewalking.”
  • Worked on the space shuttle, space station, and Hubble space telescope programs
    • Developed flight procedures that were executed in space
    • Trained astronauts to work in microgravity environment, and to assemble and repair hardware on space station and Hubble
    • Trained astronauts and other EVA instructors on all of the real space shuttles, as well as space station pieces before they launched (did this at Kennedy Space Center)
    • Worked in Mission Control Center as EVA Task Lead during real-time space station an Hubble space telescope mission operations; managing the EVA tasks and troubleshooting as problems arose
    • Supported various EVA test projects and spacewalk training medium, including SCUBA diving in the 40’ deep, 100X200’ Neutral Buoyancy Lab pool, and KC-135 microgravity flights
    • Was a part of Nova’s PBS special: “Hubble’s Amazing Rescue,” which told the amazing story of the final space shuttle mission to service and repair Hubble; STS-125.

2010-2012: Operations Manager for Space Station Technology demonstration payload

  • Worked at Goddard Space Flight Center:
    • Led the development of robotic procedures used to repair a simulated satellite payload on the international space station. The payload objectives were to develop the tools and techniques required to repair and refuel a damaged/out-of life satellite using ground-based tele-robotics. Lessons learned will be applied to future Satellite Servicing missions conducted in Geosynchronous orbits.
  • Trained flight control team and led first ever RRM activities directly from Goddard flight control room; to support real-time operations where a robotic arm on space station was flown from the ground to perform simulated repair tasks on the payload.

Christy_payload bay of the space shuttle

Christy with two Hubble astronauts, John Grunsfeld and Drew Feustel, standing in the actual payload bay of the space shuttle that went to Hubble for the very last time, STS-125

2012-present: Project Manager for NASA Airborne Science Campaign called Operation IceBridge

    • Worked at Goddard Space Flight Center:
      • Operation IceBridge is an airborne science project that flies radar and laser altimetry systems on aircraft to gather geophysical data at Earth’s Polar Regions (for ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice)
      • Responsible for ensuring project objectives are met from planning stage, to field deployments, to product delivery
      • Supports field work, including mission deployments in the Arctic and Antarctic and has also been:
        • On 3 Greenland deployments
        • To Antarctica twice;  second trip was with first-ever, full up IceBridge deployment using our NASA P-3 aircraft.
        • To the south pole
        • To Punta Arenas, Chile, to support remote data collection over the Antarctic peninsula

        christy south pole

        Christy standing at the geographic and ceremonial South Pole. “I had a rare and amazing opportunity to go there during a site survey visit in December 2012. This site survey was the precursor to our full up team/Project deployment we just did in Oct/Nov of 2014.”

Interests and Hobbies

  • Mountaineering
  • Travel and Exploration
  • Education Outreach
  • Family Time
  • Athletics (volleyball, basketball, running, cycling)

Video interview with Christy: