NASA Launch Manager
Launch Services Program
Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Charles (Chuck) P. Dovale is the Senior ELV Launch Director at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. He is responsible for the management of ELV launch countdowns as well as launch campaign policy planning, implementation, and management.
Dovale joined NASA in 1982 as a summer/winter stay-in-school student in the Financial Management Directorate. He served in that role for approximately two years while going to school. Dovale accrued engineering courses at Brevard Community College while in the program which allowed him to join the Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) in August 1984. Dovale was assigned to the ELV Directorate as a co-op student.
Dovale served as an Instrumentation and Telemetry student engineer for approximately five years while completing his engineering degree as part of the co-op program. Dovale graduated in May 1989 and became a fulltime employee of NASA and the ELV Directorate. Chuck continued his duties as instrumentation and telemetry engineer as well as becoming the power and RF lead. The stable of NASA/KSC ELV's continued to grow to include programs such as Scout, Pegasus, Titan II, and Titan IV. Chuck served as the lead systems engineer during the transition of the Scout program from Langley Research Center (LaRC) to KSC. The Scout program was a very successful program, which afforded NASA the opportunity to launch a host of small satellites to orbit. The Scout paved the way for a new launch vehicle for small satellites, the Pegasus. Chuck was the lead engineer and interface between KSC and the Pegasus manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corp. Representing NASA/KSC/ELV as liaison to the Pegasus program was a major accomplishment in the education and growth of Dovale as a future manager at KSC.
Dovale became the Avionics Branch Chief in August 1994 where he led a branch of systems engineers though vital ELV missions such as Mars 96, Cassini, Landsat, and Mars 98. During this time, Dovale performed additional on-console duties as the Assistant Launch Manager. Serving as the backup to the Launch Director, Chuck utilized his launch operations knowledge and skills during the final launch campaign of several ELV missions. These unique challenges afforded Chuck the opportunity to formally serve as the Alternate Launch Director from 1999 to 2000. He was named Senior Launch Director in early 2000 and has been performing in that role ever since. He was the Launch Director for important ELV missions such as Landsat-7, Mars Odyssey, IMAGE, and Kodiak Star.
Born on Long Island, New York, he moved to Florida in 1981 where he graduated from Cocoa High School in 1982. He received a bachelor of science in engineering in 1989 from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.
Chuck and his wife, Laura, live in Cocoa with their two daughters, Paige 6, and Kaley 4. He enjoys spending time with his family, as well as playing softball, playing guitar, and keeping fit.
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center