Press Release

Susan Turner, Jeff Sexton named to top positions in NASA’s Space Launch Initiative

By SpaceRef Editor
February 16, 2002
Filed under , ,

Susan Turner and Jeff Sexton have been named to top positions
supporting NASA’s Space Launch Initiative — an effort to develop and
flight test key technologies for the next generation reusable launch
vehicle — at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Turner is the new deputy manager for Flight Demonstration and
Experiments Integration. Sexton will be the project manager of the
X-37 technology demonstrator, a reusable spaceplane.

NASA’s Space Launch Initiative (SLI) is designing space transportation
systems that can fulfill civil and defense mission requirements, while
developing the technologies needed to build and operate a
second-generation reusable launch vehicle.

The Flight Demonstration and Experiments Integration Office is a
technology component within the Second Generation Reusable Launch
Vehicle Program, part of the Space Launch Initiative. Before a safer,
more reliable and cost-effective new launch system can be built;
selected hardware and software technologies must first be

Turner, a member of the Marshall team since 1986, was most recently
project manager on the X-37. In 1998, she was named assistant director
of Marshall’s Propulsion Laboratory, where she led strategic planning
efforts. In 1992, she was named chief of the Propulsion System Design
Branch and led design efforts for the National Launch System and
future reusable launch vehicles. She has a wide range of experience,
including work on the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor, the Inertial
Upper Stage, and the International Space Station.

Prior to joining NASA, Turner worked for the Directed Energy
Directorate of the U.S. Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in

A native of Huntsville, Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical
engineering from Auburn University and a master’s in engineering from
the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is completing her
dissertation for a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering,
and engineering management.

Sexton, who joined NASA in 1986, most recently served as Non-Advocate
Review manager in the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle
Program’s Integration and Risk Management Office. Prior to that, he
directed the management of the Small Payload Access to Space
Experiment (SPASE) Project, and was deputy manager of the X-34

Sexton also has served as Program Robotics Analysis and Integration
manager and Robotic Workstation project manager within the
International Space Station at Johnson Space Center in Houston. At
Marshall, he was Fastrac Engine operations and maintenance test team
leader and Hubble Space Telescope Deployment and Repair Mission lead
test engineer for the Neutral Buoyancy.

A native of Austin, Ind., Sexton holds a bachelor’s degree in
mechanical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
He now lives in Huntsville.

Marshall Center is a key leader in NASA’s efforts in development of
space transportation and propulsion systems and technologies.

SpaceRef staff editor.