Timothy Price Crain, II

Timothy Crain

B.S.A.S.E., 1995, M.S.A.S.E., 1999, Ph.D.A.S.E., 2000
Aerospace Engineer, Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Division

Timothy Crain graduated with a doctorate in 2000 after earning a master’s degree in 1999 and bachelor’s degree with highest honors in 1995, all three in aerospace engineering. After graduation Tim joined the advanced mission design branch of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston working on plans for human exploration of Mars.

At NASA, Tim has developed the design of navigation systems for both human and robotic spacecraft involved in entry, descent, landing and rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking. These designs were used for the upcoming 2009 Mars Science Laboratory, the mini-AERCam free-flying inspection vehicle, the Hubble robotic servicing vehicle, and provided the foundation for the Orion crew exploration vehicle. He is currently working toward humanity’s return to the moon as the Orion orbit guidance, navigation, and control system manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

While at the university, Tim received the Texas Excellence Award and played football on a scholarship for two years under Coach David McWilliams and Coach John Mackovic. His teams beat OU both years (1991 and 1992) before a knee injury directed him from the playing field to the research field at the Applied Physics Labs. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he welcomed the opportunity to study Mars exploration under Professor Robert Bishop and Professor Wallace Fowler as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He is also a Friend of Alec.

While in Austin, Tim refined a deep love of music inherited from his parents and took up the guitar. He currently plays bass guitar in the contemporary worship service at Clear Lake United Methodist Church and for an original rock band, DC3, with two other NASA engineers. Tim has been married to Melissa Crain since 1994 and they have three children, Jessica, 9, Isabella, 7, and Connor, 4. All can sing the “Eyes of Texas.”

DEG Honorees

A "Distinguished Engineering Graduate" (DEG) is a graduate who has presented him or herself to the world as a consummate professional and dedicated engineer. Learn more about past DEG honorees.