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Amarillo native Holly Ridings continues to make big strides at NASA

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Holly Ridings, the first female Chief Flight Director for NASA, will now be directing the organization’s Gateway program as the Deputy Program Manager.

The Gateway Program is a fundamental part of NASA’s Artemis Program, which aims to increase our ability for deep-space exploration. The Artemis Program will put the first woman and first person of color on the Moon by the end of 2024, according to NASA.

Once constructed, the Gateway will orbit the moon for around 15 years, serving as an outpost for astronauts conducting research on the lunar surface, Ridings commented. With the establishment of the Gateway comes the ability to conduct lunar missions for months at a time.

Ridings said she is excited to be leading what she believes is a new frontier in deep space exploration.

“A couple years from now, you’ll be able to go outside at night, look at the moon and imagine, you know, the gateway orbiting around it,” said Ridings. “I really think it will change the way people look at space.”

Ridings, a member of the ‘92 graduation class at Tascosa High School, said many of her family members still live in Amarillo and have been here for generations.

“I’ve been asked a lot about what, you know, what that gave me,” said Ridings. “And my answer about Amarillo is really community. Which then translates to, you know teamwork, when you’re working with international partners and providers all over the world.”

Ridings enjoys visiting Amarillo and said she plans to come back later this summer.

“I still feel very supported and very connected, you know, to Amarillo and the entire community,” said Ridings.

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