Joel R. Reynolds is the Director, Safety Assurance at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. Reporting to the Director of Safety and Mission Assurance, he is responsible for providing management and direction to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Safety and Reliability programs through Reliability and Space Vehicle and Payload, Space Station, and Industrial Safety Divisions. Included in his work is the direction of the KSC safety and reliability programs with an office of 65 safety specialists and engineers. His Directorate integrates contractor and government safety and reliability elements at the Space Center and establishes safety and reliability requirements. He previously served as Acting Director, Safety and Reliability.
Prior to these appointments, Reynolds served as the Chief of the Safety Operations Division. He was responsible for the day-to-day Shuttle launch and landing safety at Kennedy Space Center. He served as a Fire Protection Engineer with Industrial Risk Insurers from 1964-1969, then with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center from 1969-1979. He managed the KSC Operations Safety Program, including the Space Shuttle, payloads, and unmanned launch vehicles from 1979-1989. His expertise includes protective clothing research and toxic dispersion analysis.
Reynolds received three NASA Exceptional Service Medals for his leadership involving Space Shuttle safety - in 1981 for his work on the first Space Shuttle mission, in 1988 for his efforts in returning the Space Shuttle to flight, and again in 1995. He received a NASA Group Achievement Award in 1984 for leading a team in developing the airborne KSC flight crew rescue team. He directed the NASA emergency response efforts for the 1989 and 1990 Space Shuttle Galileo and Ulysses missions, which contained nuclear fueled power generators, and received the KSC Center Director’s Award for his efforts.
Reynolds received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M in 1964. He served as an officer in the Army Ordnance Corps (1964 - 1966) spending one year in Vietnam and receiving the Army Commendation Medal.
Joel and his wife, Judy, live in Titusville, Florida. They have a daughter and a son. He enjoys salt water fishing and windsurfing.