Our Volunteers

Eleanor A. O'Rangers

A clinical pharmacist by training, with a subspecialization in cardiovascular pharmacology, Eleanor has worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a medical director for a major pharmaceutical brand and also served as a field-based scientist. She continues to work as a scientific strategist/content expert for a number of pharmaceutical clients.

Eleanor volunteers twice monthly at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. where she has been a docent since 1995. She considers it a privilege to educate the public on the history of U.S. aviation and spaceflight and is delighted by engaged tour participants, particularly children.

Eleanor is a co-founding member and CEO of Space Medicine Associates, LLC (www.spacemedicineassociates.com), whose mission is to provide multidisciplinary space medicine and bioastronautics consultation, training and oversight in support of all aspects of off-world travel. Serving both the commercial launch industry and the personal space traveler, SMA endeavors to safely open human spaceflight to as many individuals as possible.

Eleanor is an alumnus of McDonald Elementary in Warminster, PA which she attended from grades 2-6. As a child, she recalls her father taking her and her brother to open houses at NADC Johnsville. Having grown up literally down the street from the base, Johnsville was always fascinating to Eleanor. She’s honored to be capturing the stories of the people who worked there… and others from the community who served the nation admirably during the Cold War and beyond


Debbie Doerfel has a long-standing interest in space history rooted in family history. Her father, Harold Doerfel, was a Division Head of the Computer Department at Johnsville NADC. The Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory at Johnsville NADC ran the world’s most powerful 40G human centrifuge, which was connected to the mainframes in the Central Computer System. Linked this way, it was known as the Dynamic Flight Simulator. Mr. Doerfel was an integral team member involved with centrifuge (G-force) training for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts in the 1960s. Debbie’s family also shares the last name of the astronomer Georg Dörfel who proved the parabolic path around the sun of the 1680 comet and for whom was named the lunar Dörfel Mountains.

Debbie’s interest in Johnsville NADC went even further as her brother, Bill Doerfel, worked there in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) in the 1960s. Debbie also regularly went to the Richboro NIKE Missile site in her youth when it was the Northampton Township Library. She is enjoying learning more about Johnsville NADC, NIKE, and discovering other locations and people who have aided our country.

Debbie is sister to and was student of the math teacher in the family. Debbie lays claim to having been a member of the Council Rock Intermediate School, Richboro, Slide Rule Club, and was taught by her parents to use the Doerfel family abacus which she now owns.

Debbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a Master's in deaf education. She considers herself to be an advocate for individuals with wide-ranging abilities and special needs.

Debbie is self-employed. Debbie's responsibilities have involved providing correspondence, assembling and maintaining mailing lists, setting up and completing multi-piece mailings, internet and local research, dictation, and other administrative support. Debbie’s clients have included McCaffrey Communications, Knudsen Engineering, and Cradle of Hope. In addition, she directs the “Children’s Instructional Time” of Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Hatboro, PA. As the head of this educational program for parishioners' children preK-2, Debbie selects and designs the curriculum, recruits and assigns teachers and assistants, and is a faculty member too.


Karen Ellingson

Holding Bachelors and Masters degrees in Nuclear Engineering as well as an executive MBA, Ms. Ellingson spent nearly 20 years invarious manufacturing, engineering and leadership roles in the nuclear, energy, and technology fields.

Encouraged by her husband, Karen decided to leave her corporate career in order to apply her extensive engineering, science,management and speaking expertise for teaching. She obtained a Masters in Technology-Based Secondary Education and is certified forteaching grades 7 through 12 for physics, earth & space science, and chemistry. She has been an educator for seven years andconsiders her ability to connect with and to inspire older students to understand the connection of science to the realworld a unique skill and strength.