Hire began work at the Kennedy Space Center in May 1989,first as an Orbiter Processing Facility 3 Activation Engineer and later as a Space Shuttle Orbiter Mechanical Systems Engineer for Lockheed Space Operations Company. In 1991 she was certified as a Space Shuttle Test Project Engineer (TPE) and headed the checkout of the Extravehicular Mobility Units (spacesuits) and Russian Orbiter Docking System. She was assigned as Supervisor of Space Shuttle Orbiter Mechanisms and Launch Pad Swing Arms in 1994. Selected by NASA in December 1994, Hire reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. After a year of training, she worked in mission control as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM). Hire flew as Mission Specialist-2 on STS-90 Neurolab (1998) and logged over 381 hours in space. She served as the Astronaut Office Lead for Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), Shuttle Payloads, and Flight Crew Equipment. Hire was assigned to the Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP) team for Kennedy Space Center Operations. She then journeyed to the International Space Station as a Mission Specialist for Space Shuttle mission STS-130.