Jan Davis, Hubble Telescope inducted into Alabama Engineering Hall of
Dr. N. Jan Davis
of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., was inducted
into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Also inducted was NASA's
Hubble Space Telescope for its contributions to the advancement of engineering.
As director of the Flight
Projects Directorate at the Marshall Center, Davis oversees development
of the International Space Station's connecting nodes 2 and 3; multi-purpose
logistics modules; commercial EXPRESS racks; and environmental and life-support
systems. Davis also oversees the Payload Operations Center the
science command post at the Marshall Center that links Earth-bound researchers
around the world with the Space Station. Her directorate works closely
with the Boeing Co. as it builds and tests structural elements and truss
segments of the Space Station.
Davis began her career at
the Marshall Center in 1979, leading a team responsible for structural
analysis and verification of the Hubble Space Telescope, the telescope
servicing mission and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. She also was lead
engineer for the redesign of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster
External Tank attach ring.
Selected to join the Astronaut
Corps in 1987, Davis flew on three Space Shuttle missions STS-47
in 1992, STS-60 in 1994 and STS-85 in 1997. Prior to her Shuttle flights,
Davis served as the capsule communicator with Shuttle crews from the
Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Before
returning to Marshall, Davis was director of the Human Exploration and
Development of Space Independent Assurance Office at NASA Headquarters
in Washington, D.C.
The owner of one patent,
Davis is a Registered Professional Engineer and has been awarded
NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, and
three Space Flight Medals, as well as the Marshall Space Flight Center
Director's Commendation. A winner of the Alpha Xi Delta Woman of Distinction
Award, she was recently named to the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy. She also is an ASME Fellow
-- the highest distinction bestowed by the American Society of Mechanical
Davis, a 1971 graduate of
Huntsville High School in Huntsville, Ala., earned a bachelor's degree
in applied biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta,
and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University
in Auburn, Ala. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical
engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The Alabama Engineering
Hall of Fame also honored the Hubble Space Telescope, the first major
infrared-optical-ultraviolet telescope to be placed in Earth orbit.
The first Hubble image was returned from space May 20, 1990, and to
date the telescope has studied 13,670 astronomical objects and made
271,000 individual observations.
Virtually every major Hubble
subsystem required advancement of the state of the art in hardware and
software. Design concepts provided by engineers at the Marshall Center
resulted in the Center being chosen to lead the design, fabrication,
prelaunch verification, and in-orbit operational verification of the
NASA and its collaborator
on the project, the European Space Agency, brought together engineers,
scientists, contractors, and institutions from across the globe, all
under the direction of the Marshall Center.
Art Stephenson, director
of the Marshall Center, accepted the induction honor on behalf of all
involved in the Hubble Space Telescope's success.
The Alabama Engineering Hall
of Fame based in Tuscaloosa -- was founded in 1987. The Hall
of Fame honors, preserves and perpetuates outstanding accomplishments
and contributions of individuals, projects, corporations and institutions
that contribute to the advancement of engineering and technology.