Mike Jensen is the Deputy Chief of NASA JSC’s Training Branch (CK2), the organization responsible for integration and leadership of crewmember and flight controller training for NASA’s crewed programs including ISS, Commercial Crew and Exploration/Orion. He also supports real-time flight control operations as an ISS CAPCOM, serving as a voice of MCC Houston to the ISS since Expedition 5.
Mike is a graduate of Valparaiso University in Electrical Engineering and an alumnus of Immanuel Lutheran School class of 1985. Jensen knew he was always destined for NASA. “I started dabbling in computers in 5th grade by getting bus rides over to Valparaiso University, where my dad worked in the engineering department. The college students would sometimes log me in to the mainframe and let me start coding or play games on those early pre-network/pre-internet computers. That helped set me on a path towards deciding to become an Electrical Engineer.”
He remembers vividly when Immanuel received their first computer, an Apple llc back in 1981. “I was one of the early students in Valparaiso trying to convince my teachers to accept essays and writing assignments printed out from a word processor instead of hand-written. At the time quite a few teachers simply wouldn’t accept computer printed assignments! What is common nowadays with my own kids was once a shock to teachers accustomed to the pre-computer world.”
When Jensen is not instructing astronauts in space he was on three episodes of Junkyard Wars, a TV show on the TLC network where teams are given a technical challenge. His team, the “Rocket Men” won two of the three episodes they competed in.
Way to go Mike! ILS is proud of your accomplishments.