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The First Woman to Oversee a NASA Launch

By September 1, 2022No Comments

Meet the Southerner Who Will Become the First Woman to Oversee a NASA Launch

Credit: NASA/CORY HUSTON, by [email protected]

South Carolina Native Charlie Blackwell-Thompson
and the Artemis I Rocket are Preparing for Liftoff

“The countdown clock is expected to resume soon for the launch of the Artemis I mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the next step in NASA’s plan to bring humans back to the moon. Overseeing the liftoff will be Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA’s first female launch director and a native of Gaffney, South Carolina.

As flight director, Blackwell-Thompson is responsible for ensuring the rocket is ready for blastoff, and she will be the one who makes the “go for launch” call. She’s been preparing for this moment for more than thirty years, since graduating from Clemson University in 1988 with a degree in computer engineering. Blackwell-Thompson started working at the Space Center shortly after graduation, first as a payload flight software engineer for the Boeing Company. She joined NASA in 2004 and was named flight director for Artemis I in 2016.”

Credit: Chris Kraft, August 27, 2022,