William C. "Bill" Dowdell
Technical Operations Director
Chief of the Mission Management Office
William C. "Bill" Dowdell is the technical operations director and chief of the Mission Management Office for NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. On launch day, he serves as the International Space Station (ISS) launch manager, leading the KSC ISS launch team, comprised of international partners, the various NASA and contractor design centers, and the KSC ISS processing team. As such, Dowdell is responsible for committing to the readiness for launch of the ISS Payload Elements and for the readiness of the International Space Station to receive and carry out the mission.
Dowdell has worked for NASA since 1989, beginning in the Shuttle Program as a NASA test director at KSC. In 1993, Dowdell became a Shuttle test director, leading the KSC launch team for 10 successful Shuttle launches. In this capacity, Dowdell was working for the current launch director, Mike Leinbach.
In 1996, Dowdell joined the newly formed KSC Space Station Hardware Integration Office. This office had the responsibility to work with the various contractors that were building the ISS elements to facilitate completion and delivery to KSC. Dowdell lead a KSC team that worked extensively in California with the Rocketdyne Company and their subcontractors to enable delivery of the Z1 and P6 truss elements to Florida for launch processing.
In 1979, Dowdell earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Fairmont State College in Fairmont, W.Va. He moved to Florida that same year and worked at KSC through 1982 when he returned to West Virginia to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering at WVU. In 1985, he returned to Florida and has worked at the Kennedy Space Center since that time. Dowdell resides in Cocoa Beach, Fla., with his wife, Melanie, and stepson, Ryan.
May 2006Biographies - Current Employees