Team may be subject to change due to schedules.
DONALD THOMAS, PH.D. – RETIRED ASTRONAUT
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 a 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 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!
DR. BEN MALPHRUS
Dr. Benjamin K. Malphrus is Professor of Space Science at Morehead State University where he also directs the University’s Space Science Center. He served as project director of the design and construction of the 13 M Morehead Radio Telescope and more recently the 21 M Space Tracking Antenna operated by the center. He has served on the scientific staff of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, as visiting scientist at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and on the faculty of universities including the University of South Carolina and West Virginia University. He is author of a book on the evolution of instrumentation in radio astronomy. He has initiated and participated in numerous educational initiatives including the development of space science and astrophysics degree programs at Morehead State and the design and construction of a Low Earth Orbiting Satellite.
DR. MICHAEL FULTZ
Dr. Michael Fultz is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Morehead State University. Dr. Fultz received in B.S. and Masters’ Degree in Biology from Morehead State University and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Marshall University. His publications reflect his interest of cytoskeletal remodeling during smooth muscle contraction. His current project, in collaboration with Space Tango Inc. and the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, investigates the cytoskeleton of smooth muscle cells in a microgravity environment.
Danielle Gibson is a recent graduate of the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University. During her time at the Academy, Danielle and fellow student, Will Casto, worked with Dr. Fultz, a biology professor at Morehead State University, to design and launch a smooth muscle experiment to the International Space Station. She will be attending Morehead State University as a junior, pursing a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and continuing her research inexomedicine.
Twyman Clements serves as the President and CEO of Space Tango. Beginning with the Kentucky Science Technology Corporation, Clements first began his work as an undergraduate student working on a satellite in conjunction with Kentucky Space LLC. He continued to manage the same program with Kentucky Space for four years after earning his masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. It was then thathe recognized a need in the commercial space market. Four years later, Twyman began to develop the for-profit start-up Space Tango. Twyman is the engineering genius behind manyof Kentucky Space’s Satellites and ISS equipment. Today, he has applied the same skill and knowledge to the development of Tango-Lab1 and CubeLab companions.
Gentry Barnett is the TangoLab Program Manager for Space Tango. In this role, Barnett designs and manages custom research payloads for the Space Tango’s facilities aboard the International Space Station. With the aspiration of expanding advancements in the field of medicine past the boundaries of Earth, she additionally researches and develops various Exomedicine experiments for evaluation within the TangoLab facility. Barnett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. Prior to her current appointment, she designed injury prevention and rehabilitation devices for the sports medicine and spinal cord injury populations.