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Eddie Zavala
September 18, 2012
 

Eddie ZavalaEddie Zavala
Program Manager (Acting)
SOFIA
Eddie Zavala is program manager of the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, program, based at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., a satellite facility of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. Zavala is responsible for overall development and operational service of the observatory, which features a German-built 2.5-meter infrared telescope mounted in a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.

The program, a cooperative effort between NASA (Dryden and Ames research centers) and DLR, the German Aerospace Center, is the agency's next-generation airborne observatory, giving astronomers routine access to the infrared and sub-millimeter portions of the electromagnetic spectrum of the universe.

Zavala came to NASA Dryden in 1989 as a cooperative education student. In 1991, he began his professional career in the center's Flight Systems branch. There, as a member of the F-18 Systems Research Aircraft project, Zavala developed technical expertise in fiber optics technology and electrical actuation systems.

He transferred to NASA Johnson Space Center as a space shuttle flight controller in 1998, where he supported several shuttle missions and participated in shuttle avionics upgrade projects. He returned to Dryden in 2000, where he has been manager on the Intelligent Flight Controls, Flight and Systems Demonstrations and Subsonic Fixed Wing projects and has served as mission director for other aeronautics projects. He had served as acting program manager of the SOFIA program from February 2012 until his selection as program manager in August 2012.

Zavala earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1991.

September 2012
 

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