What’s It Like to Work in NASA’s Mission Control Center?
In the latest installment of our First Woman graphic novel series, we see Commander Callie Rodriguez embark on the next phase of her trailblazing journey, as she leaves the Moon to take the helm at Mission Control.
Flight directors work in Mission Control to oversee operations of the International Space Station and Artemis missions to the Moon. They have a unique, overarching perspective focused on integration between all the systems that make a mission a success – flight directors have to learn a little about a lot.
Diane Dailey and Chloe Mehring were selected as flight directors in 2021. They’ll be taking your questions about what it’s like to lead teams of flight controllers, engineers, and countless professionals, both agencywide and internationally, in an Answer Time session on Nov. 28, 2023, from noon to 1 p.m. EST (9-10 a.m. PST) here on our Tumblr!
Like Callie, how did their unique backgrounds and previous experience, prepare them for this role? What are they excited about as we return to the Moon?
🚨 Ask your questions now by visiting https://nasa.tumblr.com/ask.
Diane Dailey started her career at NASA in 2006 in the space station Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) group. As an ECLSS flight controller, she logged more than 1,700 hours of console time, supported 10 space shuttle missions, and led the ECLSS team. She transitioned to the Integration and System Engineering (ISE) group, where she was the lead flight controller for the 10th and 21st Commercial Resupply Services missions for SpaceX. In addition, she was the ISE lead for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-1 and Demo-2 crew spacecraft test flights. Dailey was also a capsule communicator (Capcom) controller and instructor.
She was selected as a flight director in 2021 and chose her call sign of “Horizon Flight” during her first shift in November of that year. She has since served as the Lead Flight director for the ISS Expedition 68, led the development of a contingency spacewalk, and led a spacewalk in June to install a new solar array on the space station. She is currently working on development of the upcoming Artemis II mission and the Human Lander Systems which will return humanity to the moon. Dailey was raised in Lubbock, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. She is married and a mother of two. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.
Chloe Mehring started her NASA career in 2008 in the Flight Operations’ propulsion systems group and supported 11 space shuttle missions. She served as propulsion support officer for Exploration Flight Test-1, the first test flight of the Orion spacecraft that will be used for Artemis missions to the Moon. Mehring was also a lead NASA propulsion officer for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and served as backup lead for the Boeing Starliner spacecraft.
She was accepted into the 2021 Flight Director class and worked her first shift in February 2022, taking on the call sign “Lion Flight”. Since becoming certified, she has worked over 100 shifts, lead the NG-17 cargo resupply mission team, and executed two United States spacewalks within 10 days of each other. She became certified as a Boeing Starliner Flight Director, sat console for the unmanned test flight in May 2022 (OFT-2) and will be leading the undock team for the first crewed mission on Starliner in the spring of next year. She originally is from Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in State College. She is a wife, a mom to one boy, and she enjoys fitness, cooking and gardening.