Holly Ridings is now the new chief flight director of the Johnson Space Center, NASA announced on Monday. With this new post, Ridings became the first woman in NASA’s 60-year-old history to hold the position. In her new role she will “lead the elite group that directs human spaceflight missions from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,” NASA said in a statement.

Ridings became the first woman in NASA’s 60-year-old history to hold the position.

Holly will replace Norm Knight, who had been holding the position of chief flight director since 2012. Ridings will take over the position for which she has been selected by Director of Flight Operations Brian Kelly. She will manage a group of 32 flight directors and flight directors-in-training who oversee missions involving the International Space Station, the agency said.

Reception

“Holly has proven herself a leader among a group of highly talented flight directors,” Kelly said. “I know she will excel in this unique and critical leadership position providing direction for the safety and success of human spaceflight missions. She will lead the team during exciting times as they adapt to support future missions with commercial partners and beyond low-Earth orbit.”

Background

A Mechanical engineer from Texas, Ridings joined NASA in 1998 as a flight controller in the thermal operations group. Ridings, a native of Amarillo, Texas, has been working at NASA for over 20 years now. Ridings served as the flight director of several expeditions to the International Space Station, as well as the first SpaceX Dragon cargo mission in 2012. In coming years, her job will be managing more trips to the ISS, as well as upcoming Orion missions, which include plans to carry crews of astronauts to explore the Moon and Mars.

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Feature Image Credit- NASA

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