March 24, 2017

Colloquium Speaker: Alice Bowman

Alice Bowman is a member of the Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, where she leads the Space Exploration Sector’s Space Mission Operations Group and serves as Mission Operations Manager (MOM) for NASA’s New Horizons mission. Ms. Bowman supervises approximately 40 staff members who operate deep-space and Earth-orbiting spacecraft; as the New Horizons MOM, Ms. Bowman leads the team that commands and controls the spacecraft that made an historic close flyby of Pluto in July 2015 and continues deeper into the solar system’s distant Kuiper Belt region. Ms. Bowman’s experience also includes national defense space operations, systems engineering, program management, engineering management, space systems and space instrument development and deployment. Ms. Bowman earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.  She is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has served on the International SpaceOps Committee since 2009.

Colloquium Topic: Reaching for New Horizons

Alice Bowman, the New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM), will talk about the voyage of NASA’s historic mission to Pluto – which culminated with the first flight past the distant dwarf planet on July 14, 2015. She’ll speak about this journey through the eyes of the APL mission operations team and describe some challenges of piloting the small robotic spacecraft through the solar system for nearly a decade – such as planning for (and dealing with) long-distance technical hiccups. Her team itself was part of history, operating a spacecraft that had to travel longer and farther than any mission ever to reach its main target.