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My Day as a Gateway Program Schedule Analyst

Noah J. Michelsohn |
October 28, 2019

NASA’s Gateway Program is managed at Johnson but it is a global endeavor. With so many stakeholders, it is critical to unite with our partners to ensure that the logistics and scheduling align to achieve the ambitious goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024.

Will Hopkins is an Analyst on the Gateway Program Schedule Team that is keeping us on schedule. A few weeks ago we tagged along with Will to learn more about his role and went behind the scenes to learn more about NASA’s lunar gateway.

Roundup invites you to join us as we jump into a day in the life of the Artemis generation. The timeline below reflects Will's day on October 15, 2019.

5:45 a.m.: I wake up to my Alexa “Start my day” routine which begins with weather, traffic, and BBC World Service update and leads into my Fellowship of the Ring audiobook (which I continue listening to on my commute).

6:50 a.m.: I get set up for the Gateway Schedule Working Group which includes partners and participants from the Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Glenn Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre, and JAXA’s Japan Space Exploration Center.

(The timing of the 7 a.m. meeting was the result of negotiation as I generally make it a habit to not schedule meetings before 9:00 a.m. Central if I can get away with it, but 7 a.m. here is 14:00 Amsterdam which is 21:00 Tokyo. All involved seem ~united~ and comfortable with the current timing.)

8:00 a.m.: My team lead and I (a.k.a. the Gateway Schedule Team – we’re it!) debrief after a successful working group meeting in which we proposed a set of schedule control milestones planned to be baselined later this month. As part of the Moon to Mars Enterprise, Gateway and its constituent projects are challenged to meet an aggressive schedule. In order to support the “Boots on the Moon 2024” plan, schedule management is an absolute necessity.

~8:15 a.m.: We decide it is best not to mention or discuss the Astros game (ALDS game 4) of the previous day.

~8:17 a.m.: Venti Iced Vanilla Latte from the Propellant Depot.

9:30 a.m.: Next up is the “Moon to Mars Enterprise Schedule Management Weekly Tag” where we work with schedulers from both the M2M Enterprise (based out of HQ and LaRC) and from the Human Landing System (MSFC) to align our processes, tools, thoughts, and discuss the most recent/relevant news.

11:00 a.m.: If you haven’t heard, the JSC Building 3 cafeteria is open again! I had pork chops with creamy spinach & mushroom sauce.

Noon: Gateway Risk Working Group. (Risk, Schedule, and Cost are all part of the same codependent triangle.) We run through the current Top Program Risks, and the schedule team offers a risk that was brought up by ESA during our morning meeting.

1:30 p.m.: Weekly Gateway Cost & Schedule Tag with Gateway Program Planning & Control. We debrief our manager on the topics from the Schedule and Risk Working Groups and discuss plans to address NASA’s programmatic requirements for the upcoming Gateway Program synchronization review.

2:30 p.m.: I meet informally with an old office mate who works with Exploration Extravehicular Activity System (xEVA). We discuss organization, personnel, and explore options for integrating xEVA schedule data into the overall Gateway Master Schedule.

3:26 p.m.: Noah asks me to write a blog post for his new Roundup Series ‘A Day in the Life.’ My immediate thought was “Absolutely not,” but I don’t tell him that. I warm up to the idea.

4:55 p.m.: More Fellowship of the Ring audiobook for the commute.

6:00 p.m.: I spend the rest of the evening working on a crewed Mars landing & return mission on Kerbal Space Program.


Will Hopkins is an Analyst on the Gateway Program Schedule Team. This story is part one in the series A Day in the Life: The Artemis Generation, highlighting team members at Johnson who are leading NASA to the Moon and exemplifying the center vision of Dare. Unite. Explore. If you know someone making giant leaps on site, feel free to recommend them for the series by emailing 

Will Hopkins, Gateway Program Schedule Analyst
Will Hopkins, Gateway Program Schedule Analyst at NASA's Johnson Space Center.