- Press Release
- August 7, 2022
NASA Names Stennis Space Center Deputy Director
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
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
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.
For more information about the Stennis Space Center on the
For information about NASA on the Internet, visit: