Press Release

David A. King Named Marshall Space Flight Center Director

By SpaceRef Editor
May 23, 2003
Filed under ,

Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

Jerry Berg
Marshal Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256/544-6540)

NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William F.
Readdy today named David A. King as the new center director
for the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. King
is currently Marshall’s deputy director and will succeed
Arthur G. Stephenson when Stephenson steps down June 15.

King, whose NASA career began in 1983, has held the number
two position at Marshall since November 2002. In that
capacity, he assisted the center director in managing a broad
range of propulsion, space science and materials research and
development work contributing to the nation’s space program.

“Dave’s closeness to the people and programs at Marshall make
him a natural selection,” Readdy said. “His ability to make
critical decisions under challenging circumstances,
comprehensive knowledge of Space Shuttle systems, and his
demonstrated leadership qualities are vital as we move
forward with our ‘Return to Flight’ efforts.”

King has also played a key role in NASA’s Shuttle recovery
operations in Lufkin, Texas, beginning earlier this year. He
was dispatched to Lufkin within hours of the accident and
immediately began serving as the senior on-site NASA
official, directing efforts to search for clues and recover
debris from the Feb. 1 accident.

He was instrumental in creating the critical initial work
processes; establishing effective working relationships among
numerous federal and state government agencies; and laying
the foundation for the two subsequent NASA officials who
would share responsibility for leading an effective recovery
from the mishap.

“There was no blueprint on how to manage a recovery effort of
this magnitude. Dave’s devotion and determination, and his
ability to manage thousands of people across multiple
disciplines was significant in the success of the debris
recovery process,” added NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe.
“He’s committed to the safety and success of the Space
Shuttle program, and I know his colleagues at Marshall are as
pleased as I am about his selection.”

Prior to serving as deputy director at Marshall, King was
director of Shuttle processing at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center, Fla., where he managed and coordinated all Space
Shuttle processing and launch operations, overseeing the work
of approximately 5,400 civil service and contractor

He coordinated all pre-launch preparations, as well as
Shuttle landing operations. As the senior member of the
Shuttle launch team during the 3-day countdown process, King
ultimately made the final determination to launch.

King began his NASA career in 1983 as a main propulsion
system engineer. He later served as flow director for the
Space Shuttle Discovery and then as the acting deputy
director of the Installation Operations Directorate. He was
appointed deputy director of Shuttle Processing in 1996,
launch director in 1997, and director of Shuttle Processing
in 1999.

In addition to those duties, King reassumed the
responsibilities as Shuttle launch director from July 1999
until the position was filled in August 2000. He served as
launch director for six Space Shuttle launches, including
missions to the Mir space station, the International Space
Station, and a repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Marshall Center is one of NASA’s largest field
installations, with more than 6,500 civil service and
contract employees and an annual budget of $2.3 billion.

Additional information about NASA and the Marshall Space
Flight Center is available on the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.