Press Release

NASA Marshall Center Engineer Annette M. Sledd of Hartselle, Ala., Honored with Federal Women’s Program Award

By SpaceRef Editor
November 11, 2008
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Annette M. Sledd, a native of Hartselle, Ala., and
an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, has received a Federal Women’s Program Outstanding
Achievement Award for exceptional supervisory service to the Marshall
Center and the U.S. space program.

The award was presented by the Team Redstone Federal Women’s Program,
which includes the Marshall Center and the U.S. Army Garrison at
Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The annual awards recognize
outstanding federal employees in professional, administrative,
supervisory and clerical positions.

Sledd is manager of the International Space Station Payloads Office,
part of the Science & Mission Systems Office at the Marshall Center.
Her organization oversees the development, testing and delivery of
science hardware and payloads bound for or now in use aboard the
orbiting research facility. Among them: the Microgravity Science
Glovebox, a sealed experiment chamber space station astronauts have
used since 2002 to conducted scientific study in depressurized
environments; and the EXPRESS Racks, sophisticated “cabinets” to
transport, store and conduct experiments on the station. The first
EXPRESS Rack — the name is short for “Expedite the Processing of
Experiments to the Space Station” — has successfully logged more
than 50,000 hours of on-orbit operation since 2001. It’s among five
racks now in use; a sixth will be flown to the space station in
November aboard space shuttle Endeavour, during the STS-126 mission.

“I’ve been blessed to work with such a great group of people,” Sledd
said. “Supporting space station payload facilities has been very
rewarding, and I hope to continue to successfully support science on
the International Space Station for years to come.”

“I’m very happy to see Annette honored for the contributions she makes
to NASA as a leader,” said Sledd’s manager, Bruce Morris, chief of
the Exploration and Space Operations Programs & Projects Office that
oversees Sledd’s organization. “Under her guidance, International
Space Station science hardware has logged tens of thousands of
on-orbit operating hours with very few significant problems. That
didn’t happen by chance, but because Annette recruited and assembled
a superb team, and leads them by example.”

Sledd began her NASA career at the Marshall Center in 1983 as a
structural design engineer, drawing and analyzing space telescope
hardware. From 1985 to 1988, as a systems engineer in the Space
Station Division, she designed and studied initial laboratory
concepts for the International Space Station. From 1988 to 1992, she
led a program-level study supporting integration of laboratory
requirements with the overall space station.

In 1992, Sledd was named chief engineer for the EXPRESS Racks, and
launched the development of the robust hardware system. She became
manager of the EXPRESS Rack Development Project two years later,
overseeing manufacture of the first racks by The Boeing Company of
Huntsville, and supervised all rack testing, integration and
certification at the Marshall Center from 1994 to 2000. In 2003, she
was named supervisor of the Multi-Use Payload Group and tasked with
overseeing a number of teams developing, testing and preparing
science hardware and support equipment for flight. She assumed her
current position in 2006.

Sledd received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1982 from
the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She earned her master’s
degree in engineering management in 1989 from the Florida Institute
of Technology in Melbourne.

She is the author of five industry papers and publications about
NASA’s EXPRESS Racks, and is the recipient of numerous NASA
achievement awards. She received the Marshall Center Director’s
Commendation in 2002 for delivery of the first EXPRESS Racks to the
space station, and was a 1996 Space Flight Awareness honoree — an
award given by NASA to employees whose dedication to quality work and
mission safety go above and beyond the call of duty. In 1997, Sledd
was awarded a Silver Snoopy, an honor given to space workers by
NASA’s Astronaut Corps for outstanding performance and contributions
to flight safety and mission success.

Sledd resides in Huntsville with her husband and two children.

SpaceRef staff editor.