Giants in History: Angelita Castro Kelly

The first female Mission Operations Manager of NASA 

Angelita Castro Kelly ( 1942 - 2015)


Angelita Castro Kelly (1942-2015) was the first female Mission Operations Manager (MOM) of NASA. She spearheaded and supervised the Earth Observing System missions during its developmental stage. The Earth Observing System comprises of three satellites – Terra, Aqua and Aura – that carry instruments to measure specific phenomena of the land, water and atmosphere respectively. As the MOM, Kelly developed overall mission operations concepts, working with spacecraft and ground system developers to ensure the implementation of mission requirements. Prior to leading the Earth Observing System missions, Kelly helped to develop the Shuttle/Spacelab Data Processing Facility as the project manager of the facility. Her achievements have been recognised by numerous accolades awarded by the Philippines government and NASA, including the President Fidel Ramos’ Presidential Award and the Goddard Space Flight Center Exceptional Service Medal. Kelly was also listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States by the Filipina Women’s Network.


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