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Debbie Fairbrother - Balloon Program Office Chief

Debbie Fairbrother Profile Picture

Debora is the Chief of the NASA Balloon Program Office (BPO). She is responsible for management of NASA's Scientific Balloon Program Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, as well as the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF), located in Palestine, Texas. CSBF is a NASA facility operated through a contract with Orbital ATK, Inc.

Previously she was the Chief Technologist for the BPO, in that role she is responsible for coordinating the advanced balloon technology efforts. These efforts include materials development & testing, vehicle design & development, structural analyses, performance modeling, and planetary balloon developments. Her activities includes leading the materials component of the Super Pressure balloon development, leading the testing of new balloon films, and leading the redesign of the 8,000 pound lift balloon.

Prior to joining NASA in 1999, she was the Vice-President of Engineering at Winzen Engineering, Inc, a small balloon research and development company. At Winzen, she managed the technical activities which included the analysis of problems, both numerically and analytically, and the experimental collection of data and presentation of this data to the customers. Projects included the Balloon Assisted Launch System (BALS), a high altitude tethered balloon, a non-contacting optical method to measure strain in thin films, and a heat seal flaw detector.

She attended Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science Degrees in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to being a Mercury 7 Scholar, she is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and has received several NASA awards for her ballooning activities.

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Scientific Balloon Update

Report back for the latest update from NASA's Balloon Program Office.