The NASA Alumni League (NAL), Florida Chapter, will hold its January meeting at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 16th at the Debus Center, KSC Visitor Complex, Kennedy Space Center, FL.
Following a social, we will have a buffet lunch prepared by the Delaware North chefs, after which we will hear a presentation by Dale Ketcham, Space Florida’s Chief of Strategic Alliances.
CLICK HERE to register now. You may also make reservations by phone or email to Bev Merrilees: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 321-452-5426. Registrations will close at noon on January 14th.
Although we prefer online registration and pre-payment by PayPal to expedite check-in at the meeting, confirmed reservations may be paid for at the door. Advance reservations are required.
See notes below for materials from our past programs
The NASA Alumni League, Florida Chapter, held its November meeting at the Radisson Resort at the Port, Cape Canaveral, on November 21st.
Our guest speaker was Billy Stover, Deputy Chief Safety Officer (CSO) for Commercial Crew Program (CCP) at KSC. Mr. Stover grew up in Titusville, FL and graduated High School from Astronaut High School.
Currently he is the Deputy Chief Safety Officer (CSO) for Commercial Crew Program (CCP) responsible for Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) technical authority to the program. He spoke about the Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy Space Center, providing insight into the many interfaces at work and the changing relationships between NASA and the commercial providers of space hardware, test and checkout operations, and launch and recovery.
CLICK HERE to see his complete resume’.
The NASA Alumni League, Florida Chapter, held its October meeting at the Debus Conference Center. KSC Visitor Complex, KSC, FL, at 11:00 am on October 17th.
Our guest speaker was Dr. Robert C. Youngquist, Chief of the NASA/KSC Applied Physics Lab. He spoke on his work to develop coatings for high temperature probes, following up on the talk he gave at our June meeting with information on the challenge of cooling systems in space and rejection of heat sources to maintain operational temperatures.
Our SEPTEMBER luncheon featured KSC Center Director Bob Cabana. We were treated to an in-depth discussion of the operations, programs, and hardware under construction and in work for upcoming programs for commercial and government crewed flights resuming from KSC over the new year. There’s a lot going on, and all of it points to a great year ahead. Photos compliments of Larry Wilhelm.
Our June meeting was held on Tuesday, June 20th at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Dr. Robert Youngquist from the KSC Applied Physics Lab provided a briefing to a sell-out crowd on four key areas of past activities. He was invited to speak again on current activities for long duration missions at our meeting in October. View his bio and briefing HERE.
Our May meeting was held on Tuesday, May 16th at the Radisson Resort at the Port, Cape Canaveral. Our speaker was Larry Hendersin, a computer expert who has worked in the field of computing as long as there was such a field.
Larry provided a host of information on past, current and future computing activities, hardware, and software. His presentation on emerging security threats was especially well received, and he provided a listing of programs available to help protect files and systems from hackers and malware. You can see his listing HERE.
Our April meeting was held on Tuesday, the 18th in the Debus Center at the KSC Visitor Complex. We witnessed the launch of the Cygnus spacecraft aboard an Atlas V from Complex 41, and then our speaker, Dr. Gioia Massa, presented a great talk on the ISS Plant Growth Program and efforts to provide fresh food for long duration spaceflights.
She has a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University (with a wonderful semester at University of Tasmania in 1994), a PhD in Plant Biology from Penn State, and postdoctoral research from Purdue University.
Her work has spanned the spectrum of plant space biology and bioregenerative life support. Her goal is to give the future residents of the habitat of Mars a better quality of life, where they will be able to enjoy the sight, smell, taste, and nutrition of green growing plants. Her passion is to enable NASA’s grand challenge of space colonization as humanity transitions from a planet-bound to a spacefaring civilization. CLICK HERE to see her briefing charts.
Our March meeting was held on Tuesday, the 21st at the Radisson Resort at the Port, Cape Canaveral. Our speaker was Greg Clements, NASA/KSC Engineering Directorate, who spoke on strategic planning and organizational changes at KSC.
Gregory R. (Greg) Clements is the Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning in the Engineering Directorate at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. He is responsible for strategic planning, managing the engineering workforce skills portfolio, resolving inter-organizational strategic issues, and serving as an advisor and mentor for leadership and organizational development. He will speak on changes in these areas at KSC.
Clements has received numerous honors including an Outstanding Leadership Medal, two Certificates of Commendation, four Certificates of Appreciation, Acquisition Improvement Award, Superior Achievement Award, Equal Opportunity Award for Managers, several Group Achievement Awards, and Space Flight Awareness Honoree. He has also participated in several leadership development programs including the Disney Institute’s training in People Management and the Agency’s Management Education Program.
Our January Luncheon was at the Radisson, January 17, 2017.
Our Program featured Garrett Skrobot, Senior Mission Manager in NASA’s Launch Services Program, who spoke on “ENABLING BROAD ACCESS TO SPACE.”
CubeSats are playing an increasingly larger role in exploration, technology demonstrations, scientific research and educational investigations at the NASA.
These miniature satellites provide a low-cost platform for NASA missions, including planetary space exploration; Earth observation; and technology demonstrations such as cutting-edge laser communications, energy storage, in-space propulsion and autonomous movement capabilities.
Garrett discussed the ElaNa Program, including how NASA is launching miniature satellites and how the nation is benefiting from these missions.
CLICK HERE to see his bio.
December Holiday Party at the KSC Visitor Complex
The December luncheon was our annual holiday party, and this year it was held at the KSC Visitor Complex, featuring our own Sam Haddad for music and fun.
November Luncheon at the Radisson
Our November Luncheon was held at the Radisson Resort at the Port on Tuesday, November 15th and featured a presentation by Shawn Quinn, Associate Program Manager for the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program. He did a great job outlining the status of ground systems development activities, including design, development, integration, fabrication, construction, and planned activation of facilities, systems and ground support equipment for the NASA Space Launch System expected to be active in 2017. CLICK HERE to see his resume’ and HERE for his briefing charts.
October Luncheon at the KSC VC
Our October Luncheon was held in the Debus Conference Center at the KSC Visitor Complex on Tuesday, October 18th and featured a presentation by Tammy Sudler, Executive Director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).
Since 2003, Tammy Sudler has been serving as the Executive Director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). Click HERE to see her resume’ and HERE for her briefing charts.
September Luncheon at the Radisson
On September 20, Ronnie Lawson, acting Deputy Director of the Exploration Research and Technology Programs at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center provided a rousing presentation about the Evolution of ISS at KSC to the Exploration Research and Technologies Programs as the KSC ISS team has evolved to the sustaining of the on orbit vehicle and the realization of utilization of ISS as a world class orbiting laboratory. He left many of us wishing we were still a part of working at KSC to experience the changes underway there CLICK HERE to see his complete resume’.
June 21st Luncheon at the KSC Visitor Complex
On June 21st at the KSC Visitor Complex Bob Cabana, KSC Center Director, spoke to our members about current and future activities for missions to Mars and beyond. Current work includes extensive Ground Systems development, new Commercial Crew initiatives, Launch Services programs, and exciting new partnerships with a number of new commercial organizations now operating at the Kennedy Space Center.
A key to the future for NASA is understanding how those actions fit the NASA initiatives for exploration and pioneering in space. You can view his briefing HERE, and you can see his biography HERE.
May Luncheon at the Radisson
Our May luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port featured Marian Passmore and the Robotics Pink Team. The demonstration was very well done as shown in the pictures from that event. What a great team!
Click here: IMG_3038 to see a video of the demonstration.
April Luncheon at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville
The April 19th luncheon was held at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville. Our speaker, LtGen. Bill Welser, outlined the programs and functions of the Space Coast Honor Flights. Bill is the President of the Space Coast Honor Flight Board and under his leadership the program has expanded significantly over the last six years, making it possible to honor hundreds of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans by providing an opportunity for them to visit their monument in Washington D.C.
He also serves on the Brevard Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and was the past Chairman (2013 – 2015). In addition, as a member of the Habitat electrical team, he is helping to bring affordable housing to deserving families. He serves as the Flight Captain for the Space Coast Order of Daedalians, a heavier-than-air pilot fraternity. Bill is also an active member of the Patrick AFB St Georges’ Catholic Parish and sings in the Choir.
Before moving to Brevard County in 2006, he completed a distinguished 34+ year career in the USAF, retiring as a Lieutenant General in December 2005.
You can see his bio HERE.
March Luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port
Our March speaker was Scott Henderson, Blue Origin’s Orbital Launch Site Director. Some of you will remember Scott from his Air Force days as Commander of the 45th Launch Group here at the Cape. Prior to that he was Commander of the 2nd Space Operations Squadron and managed the Milstar system for the Air Force Space and Missile System Center. After he left the Air Force he worked for Space X as their Safety and Mission Assurance chief, and for Raytheon in Texas.
February 16th Luncheon at the KSC Visitor Complex!
The NASA Alumni League (NAL) held its luncheon meeting this month on February 16 at 11:00 am at the Debus Conference Center, KSC Visitor Complex, Kennedy Space Center. Ms. Carol Craig, President, CEO and CFO of Craig Technologies, Inc. (CTI), told us about the breadth of Craig Technologies capabilities, the Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center (ADMC), how CTI enables and supports the space program, both NASA and commercial launch providers, and contractors, and told about contracts at KSC (and other NASA centers) in which CTI is engaged. She also described how the company began, the vision in 1999, and how the company has aligned or transformed from that vision as well. See her full resume’ HERE.
A self-described accidental entrepreneur and Unconventional CEOTM, Carol Craig is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Craig Technologies, headquartered in Cape Canaveral, FL. Growing Craig Technologies from one person in 1999 to over 400 associates today with steadily increasing revenues, Craig leads nationwide operations with employees in over 20 different states.
Craig Technologies was listed as one of Florida’s Best Companies to Work For in 2011 and 2013 by Florida Trend magazine. As CEO, Carol oversees corporate operations to ensure quality service-delivery for her commercial and government customers, offering multi-disciplinary engineering and integration, software development, training and courseware development, information technology, modeling and simulation, logistics, and launch support.
JANUARY 19TH LUNCHEON AT THE RADISSON RESORT AT THE PORT
The NASA Alumni League (NAL) held its January meeting on the 19th at the Radisson Resort-at-the Port, 8701 Astronaut Blvd. (A1A), Port Canaveral, FL. Mr. Scott Vangen, the Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) Technology Development Assessment Lead will talk with us about the “NASA Exploration Architecture – Evolvable Mars Campaign” provided an outstanding summary of the key strategic elements in moving space exploration beyond low earth orbit (LEO) to cis-lunar space as a “proving ground” for technology and capabilities leading to operations in deep space for missions to Mars.
Scott Vangen is currently lead of the Technology Development Assessment Team for HEOMD Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT), in addition the NASA lead for the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) Technology Working Group. Mr. Vangen joined NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 1982, starting his career as an Experiment & Payloads Engineer for numerous space shuttle scientific payload missions. Mr. Vangen served as an Alternate Payload Specialist (APS) astronaut for STS-67/Astro-2, an ultraviolet astronomy mission flown on Space Shuttle Endeavour in March 1995. After completing assignments supporting International Space Station (ISS) ground assembly & checkout operations, Mr. Vangen was named the Chief Operating Officer for the KSC Space Life Sciences Lab in 2003, until he transitioned into the Constellation Program as the Deputy Project Manager for the Lunar Surface Systems Office in 2008. He holds a B.S in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and M.S. in Space Technology from Florida Institute of Technology.
December 15th Holiday Party at the KSC Visitor Complex
This was an amazing event with about 80 people sharing a special lunch at the KSC Visitor Complex and remembering times past in our space program. Many of the original launch team for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spoke about their roles in the program that truly changed the world as we knew it then, pushing the envelope of human knowledge in the challenging new space frontier.
Entertainment was provided by our own Sam Haddad, who worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center since 1974 in a wide variety of jobs, starting as a co-op for Installation Support, in DE from 1978-1983, as NASA Liaison at the CCAFS Range Control Center from 1983-1990, followed by 9 years as the Manager of the Biomedical Programs and Planning Office, and finishing his career as KSC’s Industry Relations Officer.
Membership is available to former employees of NASA, NACA, JPL, and anyone directly assigned to NASA from DOD and any government agency. Membership is also available to spouses of deceased NALFL members. You can join by clicking HERE.
NOVEMBER 17TH LUNCHEON AT THE RADISSON RESORT AT THE PORT
Our November luncheon was held on Tuesday, November 17th at the Radisson Resort featuring Dr. Janine Captain, Ph.D. She wowed her audience with an update on the Resource Prospector (RP), an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) capability demonstration mission currently planned to launch in 2020.
Dr. Captain is currently the lead of the Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis subsystem in the RESOLVE payload of Resource Prospector. RESOLVE, short for Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction, is the primary science payload for this mission.
You can access her briefing by clicking HERE.
OCTOBER 20TH LUNCHEON AT THE KSC VISITOR COMPLEX
Our October luncheon was held on Tuesday, October 20th, at the KSC Visitor Complex. Our speaker was Dr. Philip Metzger, a planetary physicist who recently retired from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where he co-founded the KSC Swamp Works. He now is now at the University of Central Florida — but still a part of the Swamp Works team — performing research related to solar system exploration: predicting how rocket exhaust interacts with extraterrestrial soil, investigating the mechanics of soil, characterizing lunar and martian soil simulants, modeling the migration of volatiles on airless bodies, etc.
While at NASA he led the Agency’s work in rocket blast effects for human-class missions. He participated in architecture studies for the Lunar Architecture Team, the Mars Architecture Team and the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, and he helped develop NASA’s technology roadmap for planetary surface technologies. He spoke today about Pluto and the solar system as our “neighborhood” for resources and power for the future. His vision of an international consortium of commercial and industrial organizations seeking to expand beyond earth’s limited capacity is inspiring and compelling.
You can access his briefing by clicking on: Is Now the Time for Lunar Industry?
SEPTEMBER 15th LUNCHEON AT THE RADISSON!
Sheriff Wayne Ivey spoke to us on identity theft and cybersecurity. Judging from the Q&A session that followed, his talk was a real hit! A summary by Marilynn Nelson is available HERE.
Sheriff Ivey has been a Law Enforcement Officer for over three decades. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. He firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.
— Luncheon June 16th at the KSC Visitor Complex —
On June 16th at the KSC Visitor Complex Bob Cabana, KSC Center Director, spoke to our members about current and future activities at the Kennedy Space Center and how those fit the NASA initiatives for exploration and pioneering in space. You can view his briefing HERE, and you can see his biography HERE.
— Luncheon May 19th at Radisson —
Our May Luncheon was held at the Radisson Resort at the Port, Cape Canaveral, on Tuesday, May 19th. Cheryl Hurst, Director of Communication and Public Engagement at KSC was our speaker. She did an outstanding job of describing KSC’s new outreach organization and responded to a lively Q&A session.
Cheryl is responsible to the Office of the Center Director, acting as the Center’s focal point for centralized strategic communication, as well as developing, implementing, integrating, and administering agency and center policies, programs, and activities in coordination with NASA’s Offices of Communication (OCOMM), Education (OED), and Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs (OLIA). As KSC’s focal point for these activities, the organization is responsible for effectively communication the relevancy of NASA’s mission, unique capabilities and contributions, and its value to all internal and external stakeholders.
Click: HERE to view her complete resume’.
— Luncheon April 21st at KSC VC —
Our April Luncheon was held at the KSC VIsitor Complex, Tuesday, April 21st. Our Speaker was Scott Colloredo, Director of the Center Planning and Development Directorate at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He did a great job outlining Kennedy’s Master Plan and the transformation of the center from a government-only facility to a multi-user spaceport.
Click HERE to view his complete resume’.
— March Luncheon at the Radisson —
The March luncheon was held at the Radisson Resort at the port and featured Jon Cowart, Partner Manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. He provided tremendous insight into activities underway with commercial providers who are working to offer access to space for both private and government crews and passengers. He is working with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) during the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. Through phases with aerospace industry partners, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) is leading the nation’s effort of commercial vehicle development and certification to enable the safe transportation of private citizens to and from Earth orbit and perhaps someday, NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations. During CCiCap, SpaceX is making significant progress developing and testing its integrated Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket combination.
— Luncheon, February 17, 2015 —
Amanda Mitskevich is the program manager of the Launch Services Program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where she is responsible for overseeing NASA’s provision and management of domestic expendable launch services for robotic missions.
She ensures overall mission success through leading, managing and directing the progress of planning and acquisition of launch services, expendable launch vehicle engineering and analysis, mission integration, launch vehicle production, launch site processing, launch campaigns and launch. Prior to her current position, she served as the program’s deputy program manager. She has been employed with NASA for 27 years. You can view her briefing on NASA’s Launch Services Program at: http://prezi.com/kjvrpwita2vd/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy and click: Amanda Mitskevich Bio Nov 2014 for Amanda’s Biography.
——- January 20, 2015 Meeting ——–
Our first luncheon of 2015 was held at the Radisson Resort at the Port. Our speaker was Scott Wilson, Manager of Production Operations for the Orion Program and Offline Processing and Infrastructure Development at KSC. CLICK HERE to view his charts.
Wilson has 24 years experience with NASA in support of the Space Shuttle, Orbital Space Plane, Orion, and Ground Systems Development and Operations Programs.
He began his career with NASA in 1991, performing Space Shuttle processing for the Space Shuttle’s data processing and main engine avionics systems. Later, he joined the Space Shuttle Upgrades Project where he managed the development and test of several flight systems in the areas of advanced avionics and wireless sensing.
Wilson was detailed to NASA Headquarters in late 2004 where he served as part of the team tasked to develop the top-level requirements for what would become the Constellation Program. Upon his return to Kennedy, he led efforts to develop systems requirements for Constellation’s ground system. In 2007, Wilson transferred to the Johnson Space Center where he became manager of production operations for NASA’s Orion Program, overseeing the manufacturing and production of the Crew Exploration Vehicle.
Wilson graduated from Frankfort Schuyler High School in New York in 1984, then earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida in 1991. He received a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Central Florida in 1995.
———– December 16th Meeting ———-
Our Annual Holiday Party took place at the Radisson Resort at the Port on December 16th. Here are some of the photos capturing the crowd enjoying a great time.
———- November 18th Meeting ———-
Therrin Protze is chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, operated by Delaware North Companies. He was named COO of the Visitor Complex in January 2014 and has made the guest experience a top priority since he began.
Protze oversees all aspects of Delaware North’s operation of the Visitor Complex, which it has done on behalf of NASA since 1995. The popular Florida destination, only 45 minutes east of Orlando, welcomes visitors who come to tour Kennedy Space Center, see rocket launches and experience such attractions as the new $100 million Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, Apollo/Saturn V Center, Shuttle Launch Experience® and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®.
———– October 21st Meeting ———-
Marc Seibert was our October speaker. He highlighted some recent advances in NASA’s evolvable Mars campaign planning, talked about recent successes from KSC’s KaBOOM project, showed recent agency accomplishments in analog field testing, and highlighted some of KSC’s capabilities and recent accomplishments in micro unmanned aerial systems. CLICK HERE for copies of his briefing materials and HERE for a link to videos of launches.
Marc works at the Kennedy Space Center where he has served as Lead for advanced planning for future space communications and navigation capabilities development for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington for six years. After successfully standing up NASA’s KaBOOM site at KSC, Marc was selected by NASA’s Optical Program at headquarters, Space Communication and Navigation Office, to deploy two new lasercomm ground stations on summits in Hawaii, where he is also currently serves as manager of the lasercomm site buildup in Hawaii. He currently also leads and has led for 13 years NASA’s delayed and fight-like communication and navigation emulation teams for analog missions such as Desert RATS, NEEMO, Pavilion Lake Project in Canada, SMD’s FINESSE project, and the Mars mission simulation team in Hawaii named Hi-SEAS, where the advanced spacecomm and nav concepts and technologies are tested – this work is known as analog field testing.
————- September 16th Meeting ————
Greg Johnson was our speaker on September 16th. He gave us an outstanding presentation on “Science in Space For Life On Earth”, and a video of his material is available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Ml-vwpaBB8UMXN64Xm8Qw.
Greg Johnson, president and executive director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), will outline the organization’s successes as well as upcoming opportunities within the CASIS mission to increase utilization of the International Space Station for research seeking to improve life on Earth.
Click here: Greg Johnson Bio Jan 2014 to see his biography.
KSC Retirees will have breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 5th at Village Inn in Titusville (always the first Tuesday of the month); and at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, August 25th at Malibu Restaurant on Barton Ave. in Rockledge (always the last Monday of the month). These events are for anyone who worked at KSC, and there are no programs, just good food and fellowship. We hope to see you there!
————- June 17th Meeting ————
The June Chapter Luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port featured Jonathan Ward, Author – “All Systems Go: Apollo/Saturn Launch Operations at Kennedy Space Center” (Springer-Praxis Books, early 2015).
Mr. Ward worked for Boeing on Space Station Freedom in the late 1980s. After spending 45 years in the Washington DC area, Mr. Ward now resides in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he coaches senior executives studying at the Center for Creative Leadership.
—– May 20th Meeting —-
The May Chapter Luncheon featured Jeremy Parsons, Branch Chief of the Operations Integration office within the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at Kennedy Space Center.
Jeremy is responsible for overseeing a diverse team that performs operations management and analysis of KSC’s human exploration activities.
—-April 15 Meeting – Pink Team Robotics Demo —-
PINK TEAM 2014
About The Pink Team…
Our biggest mission will always to be spreading the positive message about FIRST Robotics and the great opportunities that’ll emerge from being involved, no matter what age or position you are in. Our second largest mission would be to get involved in not only our local communities, but communities outside our district, our state, and even our country. We strive for excellence and plan for a fantastic domino effect throughout the world!
The Pink Team was founded in 1999. Pink was a relatively small group all those years ago, but has grown immensely since. Our team is now composed of four high schools: Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Viera, and now Space Coast High Schools. With a lot of students, comes a lot of responsibility!
————— March 18, 2014 Program —————–
A Conversation with the KSC Center Director
Robert D. Cabana
After earning a bachelor of science in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, Robert D. Cabana was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He completed Naval Flight Officer training in Pensacola in 1972 and served as an A-6 bombardier/navigator with Marine Air Wings in Cherry Point, N.C.,
and Iwakuni, Japan. He returned to Pensacola in 1975 for pilot training and was designated a Naval Aviator in September of 1976, earning the Daughters of the American Revolution award as the top Marine to complete flight training that year. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 1981, and served in the Flight Systems Branch at the Naval Air Test Center until 1984.
Cabana was selected as an astronaut candidate in June 1985 and completed his initial astronaut training in early 1986. He was assigned to the Johnson Space Center Astronaut Office, serving in a number of leadership positions including lead astronaut in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory; Mission Control Spacecraft Communicator, famously known as CAPCOM; and Chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office.
A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 910 hours in space, serving as the pilot on missions STS-41 and STS-53 and Mission Commander on STS-65 and STS-88, the first assembly mission of the International Space Station in December of 1998. Following STS-88, he served in numerous, successively challenging, senior management positions, ultimately becoming Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston; Director of the Stennis Space Center in Miss.; and, currently, tenth Director of the Kennedy Space Center in Fla. He retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps in September 2000 and was appointed a member of NASA’s Senior Executive Service.
He has logged over 7,000 hours in 46 different kinds of aircraft. He is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, a 2008 inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, an Associate Fellow in the AIAA, and he has received numerous personal awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award.
He is married to the former Nancy Joan Shimer of Cortland, N.Y. They have three grown children and reside in Cocoa, Fla.