Team may be subject to change due to schedules.
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53. From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 and STS-94, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space as a Mission Specialist.
Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as an Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally, she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA, and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller, and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation’s dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork, and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum, AIAA Associate Fellow, and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
Jeff has been teaching K-12 students for nearly 20 years and his priority and passion revolves around STEM education. His recognitions include being the Arizona Air Force Association Teacher of the Year and Arizona Challenger Space Center Teacher of the Year. Today, he is the CREATE Education Manager at Arizona Science Center. Follow his adventures on Twitter at @STEMJeff.
Tara M Ruttley, PhD is an Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Dr. Ruttley believes that the distinct changes that happen to living and physical systems in the unique microgravity environment can tell us more about who we are on Earth, where we come from, and where we might be headed. Her role in the ISS Program Science Office consists of representing and communicating all research on the space station, and supporting the ISS Chief Scientist’s research recommendations to the ISS Program Manager and to NASA Headquarters. Combining her love for Biology and human spaceflight, she pursued her BS degree in Biology and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. Upon completion of her MS degree, she came to work for NASA in 2001 where she began her career as a biomedical engineer for the medical equipment and human research hardware used on the ISS. While working as an engineer, she concurrently pursued her PhD in Neuroscience and joined the ISS Program Science Office upon completion, where she’s since enjoyed playing an active role in the science activities taking place on the ISS. Dr. Ruttley has
Other Team Members To Be Announced
Event Location Details
Midland High School
906 W Illinois Ave,
Midland, TX 79701