NASA Names Stennis Space Center Deputy Director

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2003

NASA's Associate Administrator, Office of Space Flight, William Readdy, announced today David Throckmorton is Deputy Director, Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss., effective December 1, 2003.

Throckmorton was the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Ala., engineering directorate deputy director. He led a large, multidisciplinary workforce engaged in engineering design, analyses, development, and test in support of the broad array of NASA space flight programs.

"David has a wealth of engineering and multi-discipline experience," Readdy said. "Coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Space Shuttle and other NASA programs and his leadership skills, he will be an invaluable member of NASA's return to flight team."

Throckmorton joined the MSFC staff in December 2000 as Deputy Manager of the Structures, Mechanics and Thermal Department. Previously, he was Manager, Space Transportation Programs Office, at NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC), Hampton, Va. He was responsible for LaRC space transportation-related technology development activities and program coordination within NASA, Department of Defense and industry organizations.

Early in his career, Throckmorton performed extensive wind tunnel tests of candidate configurations for the Space Shuttle orbiter, and conducted research studies of orbiter- unique aerodynamic heating phenomena. He made significant contributions to the definition and understanding of the entry aerodynamic heating environment of the Shuttle, and was one of NASA's principal interpreters of flight data from the Orbital Flight Test missions of the Shuttle Orbiter Columbia.

In 1976-77, Throckmorton served as Acting Manager of the Orbiter Experiments (OEX) Program at NASA Headquarters. Following this assignment, he was responsible for management of LaRC activities within this highly successful flight research program. He was Co-Principal Investigator for the OEX Shuttle Infrared Leeside Temperature Sensing experiment and Principal Investigator for the OEX Aerothermal Instrumentation Package.

From 1986 to 1994, Throckmorton was Assistant Head of LaRC's Aerothermodynamics Branch. He was responsible for management of a broad-based research program. It included the development and operation of advanced aerothermodynamics flight research experiments, and the development of advanced computational fluid dynamics techniques for the simulation of flow fields about vehicles operating at hypersonic speeds.

In 1988-89, he was Director of Base Technology for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) Program, NASP Joint Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He was responsible for management of all NASP technology development activities performed within government and independent, government- sponsored research laboratories.

He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the George Washington University, Washington. He has authored or co- authored more than 50 technical publications on the subjects of aerothermodynamics testing techniques and entry vehicle aerothermodynamics environment definition.

Throckmorton is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and has previously served the Institute as Chairman of the Thermosphysics Technical Committee, as a Director-at-Large, and as the Director Technical - Aerospace Sciences Group. He serves on the AIAA National Board of Directors in the elected position of Director Technical Structures, Design and Test Group.

He has received numerous group and individual awards including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the LaRC Outstanding Leadership Award, Astronaut's "Silver Snoopy" Award, and the AIAA Sustained Service Award.

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