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Voluntown, Conn. Native Joins X-37 Space Plane Project
Lt. Col. Kris A. Johanessen has joined NASAs X-37 space plane project as deputy project manager at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Johanessen is a native of Voluntown, Conn. His mother, Mrs. Joyce Johanessen, and his sister, Mrs. Jill Skidgell, still live in Voluntown.
On a three-year assignment from the Air Force Research Laboratorys Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Johanessen represents the Air Forces keen interest in the development and exploitation of reusable launch vehicle technology. The Marshall Center manages the X-37 program as NASAs Lead Center for Space Transportation Systems Development.
The X-37 is a robotic technology demonstrator designed to be ferried into space by the Space Shuttle or an expendable launch vehicle in 2002. The X-37 will demonstrate advanced technologies that can support various reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft designs.
Johanessen was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1982, through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and graduated with a bachelors degree in agricultural economics.
He began active duty at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in 1983. After completing Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) initial qualification training, he served more than five years at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., in various positions.
As a member of the Fifteenth Air Force Combat Operations Squadron at March Air Force Base, Calif., he conducted unit level staff assistance visits to verify the accuracy and combat readiness of ICBM units within the numbered Air Force, and served as executive officer for two consecutive vice commanders.
Johanessen held several positions at the Ballistic Missile Organization, Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in the development and acquisition of various ICBM programs, including program manager for the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting Trainer Systems fielded throughout Air Force Space Command ICBM units.
His next assignment was at Air Force Space Command Headquarters, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Johanessen served as instructor at the Air Force Space Command Operations Center, and held various assignments in the Directorate of Requirements. Prior to his NASA assignment, Johanessen was director of the Commanders Action Group, Space Warfare Center, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.
Johanessen has received the Master Missile Badge, Master Space Badge, Senior Program Management Badge, and been awarded two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals and the Combat Readiness Medal.
He received a masters degree in business administration from the University of Montana in Missoula and is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, as well as Air Command and Staff College, both at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.
Johanessen and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Taft, Tenn.
Note to Editors / News Directors: Interviews with Lt. Col. Johanessen, as well as photos and video of the X-37, are available to media representatives by contacting Dave Drachlis of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For photos of the X-37, click on the following URL:
For an electronic version of this release, digital images or more information, visit Marshall's News Center on the Web at: