PALMDALE - Steven G. Schmidt, deputy director of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base since 2004, has been appointed director of the center's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.
Schmidt had been serving as acting director of the facility since its establishment in September 2007. NASA Dryden center director Kevin L. Petersen announced Schmidt's appointment to the senior management-level post on a permanent basis late last month.
As director of the facility, located in a portion of the former Rockwell International North American Aircraft B-1 final assembly and checkout plant adjacent to Air Force Plant 42, Schmidt is responsible for overall management of the facility, including implementation of modifications and upgrades to convert the large aircraft production hangar to an operational aircraft support facility.
Currently, NASA's modified DC-8 airborne science laboratory and the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, are based at the facility. Three other NASA science aircraft currently based at the center's Edwards campus are scheduled to move to the Palmdale site in the future.
Schmidt came to NASA Dryden in 1994 as a project engineer and manager after serving as an aerospace engineer for the Air Force Flight Test Center and Rockwell International. He was a flight test engineer during the full-scale development and flight testing of the B-1B aircraft. At Dryden, he led several flight research projects before being advanced to deputy associate director for planning in 2001 and to deputy center director in 2004.
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