Gary Kitmacher has worked at the Johnson Space Center since 1981 and for NASA since 1985. He currently works in the International Space Station (ISS) Program Office.
Mr. Kitmacher has served in several positions, starting in the lunar sample laboratory, then in the Space Shuttle program during the first years of Shuttle operations. He served as the Man-Systems Architect during the formative stages of the Space Station Program and helped to define the design of the Modules, Node and Cupola of the Space Station. Later he served in a similar role for the Space Exploration Initiative and his designs of lunar rovers, outposts, and Mars vehicles are still frequently seen in Vision for Space Exploration studies
Mr. Kitmacher has worked extensively in the areas of payload integration and space commercialization. His thesis work was conducted with Space Industries conducting a market demand study for the Industrial Space Facility, and later he served as the Utilization Planning Manager for the commercial Spacehab Module and then as the NASA Mission Manager for the first Spacehab missions. His identification of Spacehab capabilities led to the development of the Spacehab Double Module used for logistics on Mir and ISS and for research missions.
From 1993 -1998, Mr. Kitmacher worked in the Space Shuttle – Mir international program. He first led US efforts to modify the Priroda Module, the last module of the Mir Orbital Station. Later he led the integration of payloads on Mir, and eventually served as the NASA-Mir Integration and Operations manager. The logistics system he created for Mir is still used to support the ISS. He oversaw the development of the first on-board computer training system, the Crew On-Orbit Support System. He worked extensively in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Mr. Kitmacher first became interested in space flight at the age of 6 during the first flights by American astronauts in Project Mercury. He grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As a Junior High and High School student, Boy Scout and as a Cadet in the Civil Air Patrol he hosted many presentations about space flight. While in high school, he participated in the Skylab Student Experiment Project. His experiment on photography of the Comet Kohoutek was performed on Skylab 4. In college Mr. Kitmacher studied lunar and planetary science and served as a research assistant for the Viking Mars landings. After graduation Mr. Kitmacher worked at the Smithsonian Institution as a Research Assistant on Apollo-Soyuz photography;
Mr. Kitmacher has taught extensively, directing planetariums and serving as an adjunct professor and instructor at Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Macomb County College, University of Houston, Deerfield Academy, Cranbrook Institute of Science and other locations.
Mr. Kitmacher has an extensive collection of spaceflight memorabilia and books and is an avid scale modeler. He enjoys woodworking, canoeing and flying.
Mr. Kitmacher has served as committee and program chair for several NASA and aerospace organizations. He served as the Chair of the NASA-Mir Operations and Integration Working Group, Chair of the NASA Education and Communications Working Group, and Chair of the AIAA Space Operations Committee. He currently serves on the Lunar Architecture Team and leads the ‘NASA Means Business’ college grant program.
Mr. Kitmacher has written extensively. He developed the original requirements for Man-Systems on Space Station, lunar and Mars missions, documented in the Man-Systems Architectural Control Requirements and the Man-Systems Integration Standards. He developed and negotiated the integration process and requirements for NASA-Mir, documented in the principal guiding documents for the NASA-Mir Program, the US/R-001, 002, and 004 and in the joint US/Russian contracts. He has published more than two dozen technical papers. He has served as the lead speechwriter for the International Space Station Program Manager and the Associate Administrator for Space Operations. He has written and produced dozens of multimedia presentations and planetarium programs. He recently completed the ‘Reference Guide for the International Space Station’.
Mr. Kitmacher has masters and bachelor’s degrees in Management, Geology, Astronomy and Education. He resides in Houston, Texas with his wife of 29 years, Susan Prouser Kitmacher, one daughter, Abigail and his Black Labrador Retriever. There are three additional daughters: Amy (US Coast Guard Air Station, Hawaii), Sarah (Continental Airlines), and Debra (Hebrew University, Jerusalem).