Michelle Rucker is a native of Anchorage, Alaska and a 33-year veteran of NASA. She began her career in the Houston oil industry, designing down-hole sensors while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. Rucker joined NASA in the aftermath of the space shuttle Challenger accident, supporting the investigation by conducting booster material tests and analyses. She has had the good fortune to participate in a range of exciting projects, such as International Space Station (ISS) environmental control and life support system development, operating a two-stage light gas gun hypervelocity impact research laboratory, supervising spacesuit and Extravehicular Activity (EVA) tools projects, ISS exercise equipment system engineering, and Orion crew exploration vehicle test and verification. She currently leads the Mars Integration Group, developing crewed Mars mission concepts. Michelle holds two U.S. patents and has authored numerous technical publications.