NASA's Commercial Crew Program
Maria Collura serves as the associate director of NASA's Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy Space Center. As associate director, she assists the program's management team in overseeing commercial crew development activities with the ultimate goal of developing a national capability for human access to low Earth orbit and crew transportation to and from the International Space Station.
Collura was born and raised in Titusville, Fla., and is a second generation NASA Kennedy employee. She started her career in 1991 as an orbiter payload electrical systems engineer for NASA's Space Shuttle Program.
Collura transferred to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., in 1996 to work as a lead systems engineer on several flight test projects. She eventually led, developed and implemented the Flight Termination Systems and Range Safety Systems offices as special assignments. Collura also became the deputy project manager responsible for the subcontractor team of the Earth Research and Sensor Technology (ERAST) Project.
In 2001, Collura held an agency-delegated position for Range Safety at Kennedy. In this capacity, she formulated the agency’s first policy and requirements for Range Safety in support of space shuttle Discovery's Return to Flight efforts following the Columbia accident. Collura served in increasing capacities within NASA's Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate culminating in the Constellation Space Transportation Planning Office safety chief.
In 2009, Collura joined the Space Transportation Planning Office where she served as the acting deputy director. When the office transitioned to the Commercial Crew Program, she maintained this position.
During her 20-year career with NASA, Collura has received many awards, including the Exceptional Service Medal for her contributions for the Space Transportation Planning Office and the nation’s human spaceflight program, the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award for her work in work force transition planning and analysis, and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for contributions made to safe flight operations of uncrewed aerial vehicles.
Collura earned her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1990 from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She enjoys spending time with family and friends on the beach, boating and fishing.
December 2011Biographies - Current Employees