Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Kathryn Kynard Plays Key Role In Ares I Upper Stage Engine Development

illustration only
by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 05, 2007
NASA's Kathryn Henkel Kynard has spent a career working main propulsion systems, first for the space shuttle and now for Ares I, the crew launch vehicle that will carry the Orion spacecraft and its crew to Earth orbit in the coming decade.

Kynard is systems engineering integration lead for the main propulsion system and integrated production team for the Ares I upper stage. She and her team, part of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are responsible for integrating all main propulsion system hardware components, software and avionics into the upper stage and J-2X engine, which will power the stage to orbit.

This hardware, which includes the valves, feedlines and tanks, are vital to the operation of the stage's main propulsion system.

"Our role in designing and developing the upper stage propulsion system is a big communications effort," Kynard said. "We make sure everyone is talking and the flow of information is communicated across functional areas. If we have a design change, we keep everyone informed to ensure the system will work properly once all components are integrated. We're striving to meet NASA's requirements for a safe, reliable flight."

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Kynard's career path didn't lead directly to NASA. Her family moved to Scottsbluff, Neb., when she was four. She then enlisted in the U.S. Army right out of high school, serving as a Korean linguist from 1985 to 1989. Kynard left the military in 1989 and headed to college, graduating in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from California State University Northridge. In 2003, she received her master's degree in systems architecture and engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Kynard went to work for Boeing-Rocketdyne in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1996, as an engineer, analyzing system operations for the start and shutdown of the space shuttle main engines.

It was a job that gave her a great appreciation for the inner workings of an engine system -- an appreciation and knowledge-base that led Kynard to set her sights on NASA. "I really loved what I was doing -- working on rocket engine hardware. It just seemed obvious that the next step was to work for NASA," she said.

Kynard joined NASA in 2000 as a rocket engine systems analyst for shuttle upgrades in the Marshall Center's Engineering Directorate. She also conducted analysis for the Fastrac engine, a liquid oxygen and kerosene fueled engine developed as part of NASA's Advanced Space Transportation Program, which sought new technologies to dramatically reduce the cost of getting to space. A year later, Kynard became subsystems manager for the Co-optimized Booster for Reusable Applications (COBRA) engine project. Part of NASA's Space Launch Initiative, the project developed a prototype reusable engine design as a candidate propulsion system for a new launch vehicle.

From 2002 to 2004, Kynard was deputy project manager for the Rocket Engine Prototype Project, or RS-84, in Marshall’s Next Generation Launch Technology Office. She helped lead design, development and testing of the kerosene-fueled prototype booster engine.

From 2004 to 2005, she was co-chair of the shuttle propulsion systems integration group, which included representatives from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.; and all shuttle contractors. The group worked technical issues related to propulsion integration activities for the shuttle.

"We reviewed all system-level issues from an engineering perspective," Kynard said. "It was a very interesting job that involved all the centers and contractors that owned shuttle hardware and led design and development work. When a topic came up for discussion, you had all the key players there to discuss and identify the impact across the board."

It was a job Kynard said proved invaluable to her current position with the Ares project. "For shuttle, the hardware already exists," she said. "With Ares, we've been given the opportunity to start at the beginning – to take lessons learned and apply them to the design and development phase before hardware is built."

For Kynard, being part of the team that develops NASA's new fleet of launch vehicles is a dream come true. "I am excited about my job and about NASA's exploration goals," she said. "It is always fun to work something new, and I feel lucky to be a part of this team."

Kynard has some advice for young girls considering joining her to help NASA explore the solar system. "Be persistent. You have to have a goal and a strong desire to want to achieve it," she said. "Sometimes it takes time to reach your goals in life, but don't take a break. Study hard and stay in school, keep working at it, and you will succeed."

Email This Article

Related Links
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Space Industry Appointments

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

William Shernit Joins Intelsat General As President and CEO
Bethesda MD (SPX) Mar 30, 2007
William Shernit has been named President and CEO of Intelsat General Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intelsat Ltd., with the aim of leveraging the world's largest satellite fleet to deliver assured communications and integrated, satellite-based solutions to U.S. Federal, other government and commercial customers.

  • Aurora Space Exploration Program Could See Take Off In May
  • Call For Removal Of NASA Inspector General
  • Cofounders Are Headed to Space
  • NASA Medical Review Team Appointed

  • MARSIS Radar Estimates The Volume Of Water In The South Pole Of Mars
  • ESA Prepares For A Human Mission To Mars
  • Spirit Studies Rocks in Vicinity Of Home Plate
  • NAU Researchers Find Possible Caves On Mars

  • Arianespace To Launch Two Intelsat Payloads
  • Progress On The Sea Launch Investigation And Recovery
  • Two New Payloads For Ariane 5
  • Proton-M Carrier With Canadian Satellite To Be Launched April 10

  • USGS Defines Roles For New Satellite Mission
  • ESA Signs Arrangement With New Zealand On Tracking Station
  • DMCii To Launch New Higher-Resolution Satellite Imaging Service
  • First Greenhouse Gas Animations Produced Using Envisat SCIAMACHY Data

  • Rosetta And New Horizons Watch Jupiter In Joint Campaign
  • New Horizons Shows Off Its Color Camera In Io Image
  • Alice Views Jupiter And Io
  • A Look From LEISA

  • Hubble's View Of Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1672
  • Chandra Sheds Light On Galaxy Collision
  • Meteorites Contain Solar System Clues
  • Elusive Oxygen Molecule Finally Discovered In Interstellar Space By The Odin Satellite

  • Shanghai Vies To Win Battle Of Moon Rovers
  • A Piggyback Solution For Science Versus Exploration
  • Assembling Of Moon Mission Spacecraft Begins
  • Dust-Busting Lunar Style

  • Glonass System To Be Launched By Year-End
  • Haicom Is Proudly Announce The New HI-601VT GPS GSM Real-Time Tracker
  • Comtech To Supply Movement Tracking Systems To US Army
  • Russia Allocates $380 Million For Glonass In 2007

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement