Monday, January 30, 2012

Goddard Director Leaving for Ball Aerospace

Robert Strain will leave as director of  NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to turn out to be chief operating officer of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Strain’s last day at Goddard will be March 4, NASA spokesman Mark Hess said. damage, who has detained the top post at Goddard for more than three years, announced his acceptance Jan. 30.

 NASA has not yet selected a substitute for Strain, Hess said.

 At Boulder, Colo.-based Ball, Strain will be accountable for day-to-day operation of the company’s Civil and Operational Space, Tactical Solutions, National Defense, and system Engineering Solutions units. He will report in a straight line to David Taylor, president and chief executive of Ball Aerospace.

 Before taking the wheel of Goddard in 2008, Strain was the head of the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. Prior to joining Hopkins in 2004, Strain exhausted 10 years at Dulles, Va.-based satellite and rocket maker Orbital Sciences Corp., where he was decision-making vice president of space systems.

Ball is working on more than a few big projects being managed by Goddard. Among these is the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), the next-generation of U.S. civil polar-orbiting weather satellites.

Ball is the prime contractor for the JPSS-1 spacecraft, which NASA is procuring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric management. Ball has a $248 million fixed-price contract to build JPSS-1, and a separate $82.4 million contract to construct a clone of the Ozone map and Profile Suite instrument.

The 2012 budget for JPSS is $924 million.

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