Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, the first woman to oversee a NASA liftoff and launch team.
Photo credit: NASA
We’re pretty excited about Charlie Blackwell-Thompson. A spaceflight engineer and veteran of the Space Shuttle era, she’s the first female launch director at Kennedy Space Center and the first woman to oversee a NASA liftoff and launch team — specifically, for the Artemis program. Artemis’ mission is to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024 and to establish sustainable, ongoing exploration by 2028. Once that’s accomplished, NASA will take the next giant leap by sending astronauts to Mars. Artemis, named for Apollo’s twin sister, includes the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket — the most powerful ever built — and the Orion spacecraft.