NASA – Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Launch Services Program
Flight Analysis Division
Flight Design (i.e. Rocket Trajectories)
Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering
Purdue University, B.S. 2005
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.M. 2010
Caley Burke is an aerospace engineer for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). She analyzes the trajectories of the rockets launching NASA and NOAA robotic spacecraft missions. She works the interface between the spacecraft and launch vehicle teams, getting the spacecraft delivered to the right place at the right time + pointed in the right direction.
Caley is currently the flight design analyst for the proposed Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission and will be a part of the team to select the rocket for the Sample Retrieval Lander (SLR). She is also working on contract and database projects. In 2019, she spent eight months working on the launch of astronauts on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and Space X Dragon capsules, respectively on Atlas V and Falcon 9 rockets, with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) as the Ascent Lead for the Integrated Performance.
Caley has served on console (aka an engineer on headset looking at rocket data on launch day) as NASA Winds (saying GO!) and Flight Dynamics for LSP missions. She was the Integrated Performance Integrator on console from NASA Johnson’s Mission Control Center for the Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test (OFT) mission.
Caley worked the launches of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the Mars 2018 lander, InSight, on an Atlas V, NuSTAR on a Pegasus XL, and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) on a Delta II. She did early work on the Joint Polar Satellite System 2 (JPSS-2) mission.
Caley’s position contributes to space exploration by providing expertise to reduce risk the delivery of NASA exploratory missions to space and maintaining knowledge of the expendable launch vehicle market. She has performed independent validation and verification analysis on launch vehicle configurations that are new to NASA LSP.
She received a NASA Silver Achievement Medal with the LSP Flight Dynamics Team for qualifying Pegasus XL flight software for NuSTAR. She performed a flight controls study for the upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission with a NASA Engineering and Safety Center team.
Caley started out in 2002 as a Pathways Intern (aka co-op) at KSC with the International Space Station (ISS) and transferred to NASA LSP in 2003. She attended MIT via the Kennedy Graduate Fellowship Program and performed fluid slosh in microgravity research on the Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) platform on the ISS.
In 2010, Caley participated in the Agency wide leadership program, NASA FIRST (Foundations of Influence, Relationships, Success and Teamwork), to improve her skills in the areas of personal effectiveness, business acumen, and leading and managing others. In 2018, she attended the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP) co-hosted in the Netherlands by TU Delft, Leiden University, and the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).
Caley enjoys doing educational outreach and speaking events for NASA. She mentors via Big Brothers Big Sisters and more. She has led the KSC International Space Apps Challenge team, developing challenges for the world to solve over an annual weekend. She works with the NASA LSP social media team, live tweeting launches and posting on other outreach. She posts her own experiences with space, science, sports, TV, and more via her personal social media (aka unofficial with no ties to the federal government), particularly at @RocketCaley.