Episode 19: NASA Orion Program with Stu McClung

In this episode, Beth and Stu discuss:

The differences between the retired Space Shuttle and NASA’s (new) Orion spacecraft*
What it was like to work as an engineer for the B52 bomber, the NASA shuttle program, and now NASA Orion program
How a horrible commute turned into a 30+ successful NASA career

Key Takeaways:

NASA’s work with international and commercial partners has played a large role in building this new vehicle 
Returning to the moon is a process with a lot of moving parts
Every (Orion) launch is an opportunity to learn 
“So we’re building this new thing, with new capability, and at the same time, we’re figuring out new ways to do it differently, and do it better. And it keeps (you) coming back.” 

About Mr. McClung: 

Since 2006, Mr. McClung has worked at NASA Johnson Space Center in the Orion Crew/Service Module Office. He is currently the Chief of Staff in the Program Planning and Control Office

Mr. McClung recently completed his 1 year assignment to NASA Headquarters as the Orion Program executive, representing the Orion Program to internal and external stakeholders.  Prior to that assignment, he served as the Functional Area Manager for Mechanical and Pyrotechnic systems and lead for Orion Production and Assembly. a focusing on engineering and supply chain management. Mr. McClung spent seven months in 2010 at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans as the Orion Ground Test Article vehicle manager. He also served as the Orion Production Operations Deputy Manager for Exploration Flight Test -1 for nine months at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida… Mr. McClung joined NASA in 1989 in the Orbiter Project Office at Johnson Space Center. He served as project manager through 2005 for orbiter hardware upgrades and safety improvements, including the orbiter docking system, external airlock, and the main landing gear. In 1992, Mr. McClung spent one year at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he served as the space shuttle orbiter liaison in the Office of Space Flight

About Orion: 

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.  

Social Media Accounts

Orion on the NASA Website: www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion
Facebook: www. facebook.com/NASAOrion
Twitter: @NASA_Orion
Instagram: www.instagram.com/explorenasa
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ johnson/home/orion_mcclung_ profile.html