Penn State Alum Named NASA’s Next Flight Director

A Penn State alum is officially a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s newest class of flight directors.

Chloe Mehring, a 2008 aerospace engineering graduate, is one of four new flight directors. In her new role, Mehring will oversee spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, the moon, and potentially even Mars.

“Flight directors are decision-makers, leaders, and mentors at the forefront of human exploration in space,” Mehring said in a release. “Being a leader for missions like returning to the moon or, one day, going to Mars is a real dream come true.”

The Mifflinville, Pa. native is one of only 101 Flight Directors in NASA history. Folks in Mehring’s same role helped lead the legendary Apollo missions in the 1960s and 70s. Other Penn Staters, like Mary Lawrence, have held the same position before.

Mehring was hired at NASA quickly after graduation in 2008 thanks to internships and co-ops she previously held with the organization. She’s currently also the propulsion officer for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and backup lead for the Boeing Starliner spacecraft.

While Mehring is the newest Penn Stater to hold an elite role with NASA, she certainly isn’t the first. Notably, current professor of physiology and kinesiology Jim Pawelczyk, who we chatted with in October, flew with the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1998. Additionally, Guion Bluford, who graduated from Penn State in 1964, became the first African-American to go to space.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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