- Laurence Russell
NASA selects Shawn Quinn to lead exploration ground systems program
NASA has selected Shawn Quinn as manager of the Exploration Ground Systems program based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, effective Sunday, Jan. 15. In this role, Quinn will lead the team responsible for developing and operating the systems necessary to process and launch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft on Artemis Moon missions. Quinn succeeds Mike Bolger, who retired from the agency in December 2022 after 35 years of service following the successful Artemis I mission.
“The work done on the ground at Kennedy to prepare for missions to the Moon is essential to the success of Artemis,” said Kennedy Space Center Director Janet Petro. “Across several roles at Kennedy, Shawn has demonstrated outstanding leadership, mentoring, and technical skills, and will be a tremendous asset in his new role supporting Artemis and humanity’s return to the Moon.”
Quinn brings more than 35 years of NASA experience to the role. Since 2018, he served as the director of engineering at Kennedy’s spaceport, where he led a large organization of engineers from multiple disciplines in the design, development, and operations of spaceflight hardware and ground systems in support of programs and projects assigned to Kennedy, including commercial crew, launch services, ground systems, and the International Space Station.
He has previous experience with the Exploration Ground Systems Program, serving as the associate program manager. In that position, he was responsible for ground systems development activities, including design, development, integration, fabrication, construction, activation, and verification and validation of facilities, systems, ground support equipment, and operations planning and execution activities leading to NASA's exploration missions.
Prior to that role, Quinn was the Vehicle Integration and Launch Integration Product team manager. He was responsible for the operations and development of systems at Kennedy's Launch Complex 39, including the launch pads, the mobile launcher, crawler transporter and the Vehicle Assembly Building. In the role, Quinn oversaw the overall planning and implementation of modifications of Launch Complex 39 systems to support the processing and launch of SLS and Orion. He first joined NASA in 1985 in the Engineering Cooperative Education Program at Kennedy supporting the Space Shuttle Program as a design engineer while studying for his bachelor’s degree.
Quinn earned a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990, and a master's degree from the University of Central Florida in 1994. In 2008, Quinn completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology System Design and Management program and received a master’s degree in engineering and management. Among Quinn’s awards are the Presidential Rank Award, Kennedy‘s Strategic Leadership Award, and NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award.