NASA – Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Launch Services Program
Flight Analysis Division
Flight Design (i.e. Rocket Trajectories)
Purdue University, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, B.S. 2005
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, 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’s unmanned spacecraft missions. She is currently assigned to the Joint Polar Satellite System 2 (JPSS-2) mission launch on Atlas V 401 rocket from Vandenberg AFB in California. She works the interface between the spacecraft and launch vehicle teams, getting the spacecraft delivered to the right place at the right time and pointed in the right direction. Additionally, she supports manned launch 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).
Caley leads the KSC International Space Apps Challenge team, which both develops challenges to be solved worldwide and hosts a Space Apps location. She enjoys doing educational outreach for NASA and speaking at schools, museums, etc. She mentors via FIRST Robotics Team 1592, the Bionic Tigers, and NASA GIRLS and is in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She’s a member of the NASA LSP social media team, live tweeting launches and posting on LSP outreach. She posts personal experiences with space, science and more at @RocketCaley.
Previously, Caley worked the launches of the Mars 2018 lander (InSight), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on an Atlas V, NuSTAR on a Pegasus XL, and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) on a Delta II. 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. She also performs independent validation and verification analysis on any launch vehicle configurations that are new to NASA LSP. She has been on console as for NASA Winds for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-K mission, after training on the MSL and Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) missions.
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.
Caley started out in 2002 as an intern 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).