NASA Chief Engineer
Launch Services Program
Kennedy Space Center
James Wood is the NASA Launch Services Program Office (LSPO) Senior Chief Engineer. He and the LSPO engineering team are responsible for overseeing launch vehicle manufacturing and test, as well as overseeing the integration of spacecraft to the launch vehicle. The NASA engineering team works together with the launch service contractor through launch, providing the final NASA technical readiness assessment to the Launch Director.
Wood grew up in Missouri and graduated from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1988 with a BS in Physics. He worked in Hampton, Virginia for Flight Mechanics & Control, Inc., before moving to the Launch Vehicles Division of EER Systems in 1992 as the lead GN&C systems engineer. He later served as lead systems engineer and field test conductor for EER's Conestoga and Consort projects.
Wood joined NASA in 1995 as the GN&C manager for the Orbital Launch Services Project at Goddard Space Flight Center. He moved to Kennedy Space Center in 1999 as the Chief Engineer of the Expendable Launch Vehicles Project.
He was the NASA GN&C manager for the launch of Mars Global Surveyor ('96), Mars Pathfinder ('96), Mars Climate Orbiter ('98), and Mars Polar Lander ('98). He was the NASA Chief Engineer for the launch of Mars Odyssey in 2001. Wood lives in Cocoa Beach with his wife Cordelia and their cat. Their hobbies include kayaking, gardening, and rollerblading.