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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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CAIN, LeRoy. (Dubuque, IA-- ). Cain became the second-youngest flight director in National Aeronautics and Space Administration history at the age of 34. A 1982 graduate of HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL, he studied engineering at Iowa State University.

LeRoy E. Cain has served as the manager of Launch Integration at NASA's Kennedy Space Center since November 2005. In this position, Cain reports directly to Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale and assists with the overall management, integration and operations of the Space Shuttle Program. He helps to define launch integration requirements between the Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.

Previously, he served as a NASA flight director in the Mission Operations Directorate, where he supported 17 space shuttle missions, including six of those missions as the ascent flight director and eight as the entry flight director.

Cain began working in the space industry in 1988 as a guidance and control systems engineer at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. He was responsible for pre-mission planning and real-time flight control support in the Mission Control Center for space shuttle guidance and control systems. Cain started as a contractor with the Rockwell Shuttle Operations Company and became a NASA employee in 1991.

In 1997, he became the manager of the Space Shuttle Ascent/Entry Guidance and Procedures Section, where he was responsible for pre-mission planning and real-time support in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center.

Cain served in temporary roles as acting deputy manager of the Space Shuttle Program and acting deputy director of Space Shuttle Processing during a six-month rotational assignment to the Space Shuttle Program office at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2004.

Cain has received numerous honors, including NASA Outstanding Performance Awards for five consecutive years; a NASA Outstanding Contribution award for the Ariane 502 Re-entry Observation Project in 1997; and a Certificate of Commendation from Johnson Space Center in 1996. He was a member of the Orbiter Operations Maintenance Requirements and Specific Document Review Team from 1995 to 1996, as well as the Liquid Flyback Booster Design Team in 1995.

(Source: NASA biographies)