Sarah Murray is the Project and Technical Lead in NASA’s Orion Program Vehicle Integration Office. Her primary role is the management of projects and technical integration across the multiple entities working to build NASA’s next spacecraft. She works with Space Launch System (SLS) at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Lockheed Martin in Colorado and European Space Agency in Germany to help integrate this significant effort.
Before moving into her current role, Ms. Murray was the Deputy of the Orion Vehicle Systems Performance and Analysis organization responsible for vehicle integration between Orion, the Space Launch System and the Service Module currently being built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Ms. Murray also served as Council Executive for the Mission Support Council at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. This council is one of NASA’s five councils used to govern the ten NASA centers across the United States. The Mission Support Council evaluates and makes decisions, which require high levels of integration, visibility, and approval. The Mission Support Council governance style provides high-level oversight, sets requirements and strategic priorities, and guides key assessments of the Agency.
Ms. Murray has served as the Assistant Division Chief of the EVA, Robotics and Crew Systems Division in the Flight Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). Ms. Murray was responsible for facility integration for JSC’s training facilities, Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF) and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). These two facilities house mockups of the International Space Station (ISS) for astronaut and cosmonaut training. The SVMF is used to conduct 1g training. At the NBL the ISS mockup is immersed underwater where astronaut training is conducted in this simulated micro-g environment.
Since joining NASA in 1995, Ms. Murray has held roles in training and flight control. She was Deputy Division Chief of Spaceflight Training Management responsible for the development, integration, implementation and management of flight controller, instructor and astronaut training for the ISS. She also served as Chair of the International Training Control Board (ITCB). The objective of the ITCB is to provide control, coordination and training management across ISS Partners for astronauts from the U.S., Japan, Canada, Europe and cosmonauts from Russia. The board consists of members from each International Partner [Canadian Space Agency (CSA), ESA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Energia, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC)].
Ms. Murray was also Group Lead of the Space Shuttle Communications Group, the ISS Power Group and then Chief of the Space Station and Space Shuttle Electrical Power Branch
responsible for the overall planning, directing and controlling of the Space Shuttle Electrical Systems Group, the ISS Power Systems Group, and the ISS Gemini Systems Group. She directed the flight control team in the overall development of mission design, integrated flight controller and crew procedures for normal and contingency operations. She evaluated generic and flight specific training, and certified the technical proficiency of Space Shuttle and ISS flight controllers for real-time operations.
After the Space Shuttle Columbia accident in 2003, Ms. Murray was selected to lead the Columbia Recovery Office. While based at Barksdale Air Force Base and later in Lufkin, TX, she coordinated integrated search efforts by working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Civil Air Patrol, Homeland Security, US Forestry Service, Department of Defense (DoD), National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), Navajo Indian Nation, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local authorities in many states.
Ms. Murray has served as Space and Ground Network Manager at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center where she directed the activities during real-time support of Space Shuttle, expendable launch vehicles (ELVs) and projects such as Hubble Space Telescope. She provided oversight of the Network Control Center (NCC) flight control team, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and ground systems at Bermuda, Australia and the White Sands Complex in New Mexico.
Ms. Murray participates in numerous STEM Outreach activities as a speaker and team member of the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET). She works with students in Scotland, India, Australia and England on experimental designs to be conducted on the ISS, and has been keynote speaker at numerous events to include events in Scotland at the University of West Scotland and Ayshire College, in addition to events in London sponsored by Pint of Science (PoS).
Before joining NASA Ms. Murray taught school at the Frankfurt International School in Obereusel, Germany.
Ms. Murray is a U.S. Army veteran. After her service she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has training in advanced project management and international negotiations.
Honors/Awards include: Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Stellar Award Nominee; Johnson Space Center’s Commendation; NASA’s Silver Snoopy; Army Good Conduct Medal; Army Expert Medal for M-16 Rifle; overseas Army Ribbon; Honorable Discharge; Army Achievement Medal