Lynn Harper is currently Strategic Integration Advisor to the International Space Station National Laboratory (America’s first National Laboratory in space), Lead of Integrative Studies for the NASA Ames Research Center Space Portal, Challenge Administrator of NASA’s Vascular Tissue Centennial Challenge, and Technical Monitor of five SBIR in space manufacturing investigations planned for flight on the ISS over the next three years.
Lynn Harper was awarded NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal for her role as initiating founder of the science of Astrobiology and her service as the first Lead for Astrobiology Advanced Concepts and Technologies and NASA's Exceptional Service Medal for career contributions. She is one of the initiating founders of NASA Space Portal, a consortium to promote commercial space development for public benefit, as well as Lunar University and International Lunar Research Park concepts to support permanent human presence on other worlds in a manner that provides multiple benefits for humanity.
Lynn Harper served as Co-Lead of the Space Commercial Laboratory Applications (SCoLA) Working Group which focused on leveraging commercial capabilities to broaden the uses of space for public benefit; and as Deputy Project Manager for the Commercial Re-Usable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) Project with a special focus on making space as familiar a tool of the American classroom as the microscope.
For several years, she was the Acting Chief and Deputy Chief of the Advanced Life Support Division at NASA Ames and oversaw the development of air and water regeneration systems that are now leading candidates for Space Station upgrades and bioregenerative life support projects that, among other things, produced world record wheat yields using hydroponics techniques. These technologies, which were designed to sustain human activities in environments where there were few, if any, resources available to support life, had broad applications to terrestrial problems. Technology transfer was a key part of this endeavor and led to the development of Bloom Energy.
Lynn Harper served as Study Team Leader for Life Sciences, Life Support, and EVA on NASA's 90-Day Study for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars; was a member of NASA’s Decadal Planning Team for Exploration as well as the NASA Space Architect Team that provided the technical foundation for the President’s Vision for Space Exploration.
Lynn Harper was the Program Manager for Advanced Missions and Special Projects in the Space Life Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters between 1986-89. During her tenure she initiated, established and managed the Controlled Ecological Life Support System Flight Program and the Exobiology Flight Program. She Served as Program Manager (at NASA HQ) and Deputy Project Manager (at NASA Ames) for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Project (SETI).
Lynn Harper has been instrumental in the development of science instrument programs for Space Shuttle, Space Station and unmanned planetary exploration spacecraft as well as computer and radio telescope development and applications programs for SETI.
She was the first to support the development of aerogel instruments to collect intact fragments of cosmic dust, an investment that enabled the Stardust Mission and the first recovery of pristine samples from a comet. Lynn Harper has a deep commitment to education and has initiated and managed several pioneering educational projects for teachers and students using space to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math.