Astrid E. Heard is the Senior Statistician at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, working in the Safety, Health and Independent Assessment Directorate since June 2000. In this position, she serves as a senior consultant and advisor responsible for the development and implementation of statistical methods at KSC.
Prior to becoming senior statistician, Ms. Heard was the Lead for the Business Office in the Joint Performance Management Office (JPMO), a partnership between Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Patrick Air Force Base and NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center. She was responsible for assisting the Executive Director of JPMO in assuring that overall JPMO requirements were met for NASA, the 45th Space Wing and other customer programs in the areas of resource, budget and contract management for the Joint Base Operations and Support Contract.
During her career with NASA, Ms. Heard has received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, numerous Superior Performance and Group Achievement awards, a NASA Certificate of Appreciation and a NASA Certificate of Recognition. She has published extensively in the subject areas of Shuttle Operations and Intelligent Systems and presented at numerous conferences, including the IAF Congress in England. Ms. Heard also served as the Technical Papers Chairman for the 28th and 29th Space Congresses.
Ms. Heard began her career with NASA in 1974 as a member of the design team for the Shuttle Launch Processing System. She went on to work in Shuttle Ground Operations with activation responsibilities at the Shuttle Launch Facility, the Vertical Assembly Building and the Mobile Launch Platforms. Ms. Heard left NASA in 1979 and returned in 1983 after a brief respite as a research scientist for the Denver Research Institute. Ms. Heard was a Shuttle Launch Team member and certified Master Console test conductor for five years, spanning 25 launches. She has served as the KSC Program Manager for Advanced Software and later for Technology Integration, as technical assistant to the Instrumentation Division and later as a Project Manager for the Engineering Development Directorate.
Born in Punta Arenas, Chile, Ms. Heard was educated in the U.S. and is a graduate of Cocoa Beach High School, Cocoa Beach, Florida. She attended the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of South Florida and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics in 1972. In 1974, Ms. Heard received a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1993, she earned a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of Central Florida's Industrial Engineering College. Ms. Heard was recently awarded the George M. Low Memorial Fellowship allowing one year of dedicated study in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Statistical Analysis at the University of Central Florida.
Astrid and her husband, Sam, live in Merritt Island, Florida. They have two children