Robert D. Cabana served as director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss, in 2007-2008. He provided executive leadership and overall direction and management of the center and was responsible for implementing NASA's mission in the areas of rocket propulsion testing, developing and maintaining NASA's world-class rocket propulsion test facilities, and ensuring Stennis serves as the systems engineering center for Applied Science activities assigned by the agency. He also served as a federal manager hosting an integrated multi-agency federal laboratory. Stennis is a unique federal city that is home to more than 30 federal, state, academic and private organizations and numerous technology-based companies.
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cabana graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1971, with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has logged over 7,000 hours in 36 different aircraft.
Cabana was selected as an astronaut candidate in June of 1985, completing his training in 1986. He has flown four Space Shuttle missions serving as the pilot of Discovery on STS-41 in October 1990, the pilot of Discovery on STS-53 in December 1992, the commander of Columbia on STS-65 in July 1994, and the commander of Endeavour on STS-88, the first Space Station assembly mission, in December 1998.
Before being named the Director of the Stennis Space Center in October of 2007, Cabana served as Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In addition to his duties as an astronaut, Cabana’s NASA experience includes assignments as Deputy Chief, Aircraft Operations Division; Chief, NASA Astronaut Office; Manager, International Operations, International Space Station Program; Director, NASA Human Space Flight Program in Russia; Deputy, International Space Station Program; and Director, Flight Crew Operations.