NASA has selected Dr. Jon B. Olansen as the new manager of the agencys Gateway Program, an international collaboration building humanity’s first lunar space station, which will support Artemis missions to the Moon.
Jon is a brilliant engineer and talented leader with an exceptional history of managing large projects with innovative approaches to exploration, said Vanessa Wyche, director of NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston. Hes a perfect fit for Gateway, which brings together international and commercial partnerships, and is an essential element in future human space exploration. The program is in excellent hands.
Olansen replaces Dan Hartman, who is retiring after having served as Gateway program manager since its formation in 2019.
Dan has assembled an outstanding team in the Gateway Program, Olansen said. Its been an honor to work with him, and I look forward to building on the foundation hes laid for Gateway as it plays its part in the expansion of human frontiers in the near future.
Olansen has also been with the Gateway Program since its inception, managing the development of HALO (Habitation and Logistics Outpost) module, where astronauts will live and conduct research while visiting Gateway on Artemis missions. The HALO module, along with Gateways power and propulsion element, will be the first components of the space station to launch in 2025.
For shepherding HALO through its preliminary design review, an important milestone that demonstrates that an initial mission design meets all system requirements within cost, schedule, and risk restraints, Olansen received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2022.
Olansen began his career at Johnson in 1989 as a flight controller, and since then has had roles of increasing responsibility within the Astronaut Office, the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, the Space Shuttle Program and Johnsons Engineering Directorate. In his most recent role before joining Gateways team, Olansen led development of Orions Ascent Abort-2 crew module and subsequent spacecraft integration and flight test operations, successfully demonstrating the critical performance of Orions launch abort system in flight.
In addition to the Outstanding Leadership Medal, Olansen has received two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a NASA Systems Engineering Tech Excellence Award, a NASA Space Flight Safety Award, a Silver Snoopy Personal Achievement Award, and many other honors.
Once established around the Moon, Gateway will host many capabilities for sustained exploration and research in deep space, including docking ports for a variety of visiting spacecraft; space for crew to live, work, and prepare for lunar surface missions; and onboard science investigations to study heliophysics, human health, and life sciences, among other areas. Gateway will be a critical platform for developing technology and capabilities to support future Mars exploration.
A part of NASAs Artemis missions, which will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, Gateway will help pave the way for a long-term, sustainable lunar presence and prepare for future astronaut missions to Mars.