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Kris Kuehnel 2024

Kris Kuehnel

Managing Director, Space Exploration Operations, Airbus US Space & Defense

Kris Kuehnel serves as Managing Director for Airbus US Space & Defense, Houston Space Operations at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).  In this position, Mr. Kuehnel manages and directs activities related to company strategic planning and implementation, operations, marketing & sales, financial planning & reporting, contracts, and corporate compliance.  

Mr. Kuehnel has directly supported NASA & International manned spacflight activities for over 30 years with significant experience spanning the areas of Operations,  Strategic Planning, Business Development, Financial Reporting, Bid & Proposal, Marketing & Sales, Contract Administration, Logistics and Process Improvement Initiatives.  

Mr. Kuehnel began his Aerospace career with Rockwell International on the Space Station Freedom program and has subsequently held managerial and executive leadership positions with Large and Small business alike in support of US and International manned spaceflight operations, utilization and commercialization activities. Most recently as part of an international team working with NASA, CASIS and US/European Industry to advance the Bartolomeo External Science and Payload Hosting facility to the ISS National Lab and to bring Bartolomeo services to the US commercial market, helping to position Airbus as a significant contributor in the emerging LEO economy. 

Over his career Mr. Kuehnel has received multiple awards and citations for delivering creative & responsive solutions including the NASA Group Achievement award for directing Space Station Ops Phase Assessment Team activities. Kuehnel is also an active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and currently represents Airbus on the NASA JSC Joint Leadership Committee and ISS National Laboratory User Advisory Committee on Commercial Space Policy. Mr. Kuehnel is also active in local city government serving as Council member and Police Commissioner for the city of El Lago, Tx. 

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