Michelle Murray has been an Aerospace Engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) since 2001 and is currently serving as the Deputy Manager of the Operations Integration Division. Her efforts are focused on developing strategies for cross-cutting regulatory and operational issues and helping to integrate the core functions of each of the divisions to provide for a safer and more efficient licensing process from pre-application consultation through license evaluation and operational phases.
Prior to that, she has held other positions within AST ranging from lead engineer for pre-application consultation to the Program Lead for the Experimental Permit program, managing the day to day operations of the program and plans for its future. Michelle was an integral part of the development of the new commercial human spaceflight regulations and the experimental permit regime. She led a research and development effort for the collection of biomedical data on commercial human space flights.
Michelle has been the FAA's lead point of contact for the X Prize events such as the Ansari X Prize and the Lunar Lander Challenge. She served as AST's head of safety for many of the X Prize launch events, where she managed the safety of multiple launch operations. One of her most memorable assignments was the lead safety inspector for the first commercial human spaceflight mission of SpaceShipOne, on June 21, 2004. After approval from the FAA Administrator and Secretary of Transportation, Michelle designed and developed the FAA Commercial Astronaut Wings, which were given to the SpaceShipOne pilots. Copies of her designs are currently on display in the National Air and Space Museum.
Before coming to the FAA, Michelle was a Systems Engineer at the NASA Goddard Space Fight Center. She started on console for the Terra satellite operations and was later promoted into the lead thermal and electrical subsystem engineer. Before leaving NASA, Michelle was working in the flight dynamics group monitoring the orbits of the mission to planet earth constellation of satellites and planning maneuvers to maintain the constellation.
Michelle has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a graduate certificate from the International Space University. The main technical areas Michelle is passionate about include launch and reentry vehicle reusability and safety and human spaceflight.