Kennedy Biographies

Text Size


Charles P. "Chuck" Dovale
Deputy Program Manager
Launch Services Program

Charles P. "Chuck" Dovale is the deputy program manager of the Launch Services Program (LSP) at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he, along with the program manager, is responsible for overseeing NASA's provision and management of domestic expendable launch services for robotic missions. He ensures overall mission success through leading, managing and directing the progress of planning and acquisition of launch services, expendable launch vehicle engineering and analysis, mission integration, launch vehicle production, launch site processing, launch campaigns and launch.

Prior to his current position, he served as the program's senior launch director. He was responsible for the management of ELV launch countdowns, as well as launch-campaign policy planning, implementation and management.

Dovale joined NASA in 1982 as a summer/winter stay-in-school student in the Financial Management Directorate. He served in that role for approximately two years while going to school. The engineering courses Dovale completed at Brevard Community College gained him acceptance into the Cooperative (co-op) Education Program in August 1984, and he was assigned to the Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Directorate as a co-op student.

Dovale served as an instrumentation and telemetry student engineer for approximately five years while completing his engineering degree. In that role, he evaluated ground and flight telemetry data for NASA's Delta and Atlas ELVs. Specifically, he was responsible for displaying, evaluating, verifying, logging and storing all launch vehicle telemetry data received by Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for all Delta and Atlas tests and launches. He also performed this role during the Shuttle-Centaur program, which was cancelled following the Challenger accident in 1986.

Dovale graduated in May 1989 and became a full-time employee of NASA and the ELV Directorate. He continued his duties as instrumentation and telemetry engineer, as well as becoming the power and RF lead. The stable of NASA/Kennedy ELVs continued to grow to include programs such as Scout, Pegasus, Titan II and Titan IV. He served as the lead systems engineer during the transition of the Scout program from Langley Research Center to Kennedy. The Scout program was a very successful program, which afforded NASA the opportunity to launch a host of small satellites to orbit. The Scout paved the way for a new launch vehicle for small satellites, the Pegasus. Dovale was the lead engineer and interface between Kennedy and the Pegasus manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corp. Representing NASA/Kennedy/ELV as liaison to the Pegasus program was a major accomplishment in the education and growth of Dovale as a future manager at Kennedy.

Dovale became the Avionics Branch chief in August 1994 where he led a branch of systems engineers though vital ELV missions such as Mars '96, Cassini, Landsat and Mars '98. During this time, Dovale performed additional on-console duties as the assistant launch manager. Serving as the backup to the launch director, he utilized his launch operations knowledge and skills during the final launch campaign of several ELV missions. These unique challenges afforded Dovale the opportunity to formally serve as the alternate launch director from 1999 to 2000. He was named senior launch director in early 2000 and performed that role until his selection to become the LSP deputy program manager in 2010. He was the launch director for important ELV missions such as Landsat-7, Mars Odyssey, IMAGE, Kodiak Star, MESSENGER, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and CALIPSO/CloudSat.

Dovale has received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, as well as numerous group achievement awards, performance awards, Quality Service Initiatives, Certificates of Commendation, and Certificates of Achievement for his work on over 150 ELV missions to date.

Born on Long Island, N.Y., he moved to Florida in 1981 where he graduated from Cocoa High School in 1982. He received a Bachelor of Science in engineering in 1989 from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.

Dovale and his wife, Laura, live in Cocoa with their daughters: Paige, 16, and Kaley, 14. Besides spending time with his family, Dovale enjoys playing guitar and keeping fit.

April 2012

Biographies - Current Employees