Kennedy Biographies

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James S. Wood
Launch Services Program Chief Engineer
Engineering Directorate

James S. Wood is the Launch Services Program chief engineer in the Engineering Directorate at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He is the technical authority for the Launch Services Program, responsible for all engineering aspects related to design, integration and processing of flight hardware elements and facility/ground support equipment. He provides technical insight and approval for all missions, with recommendations for final "go/no go" launch decisions. He also represents the program's technical policy and position to the partnerships established with the National Reconnaissance Office, U.S. Air Force and other agencies.

Wood joined NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in 1995 as the guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) systems manager of the Orbital Launch Services project. He served as GN&C manager for 13 NASA missions on expendable launch vehicles until 1999 when he moved to the Kennedy Space Center and joined the Expendable Launch Vehicles Project as the chief engineer. When the Launch Services Program was created in 2002, he was named chief engineer for the new program. In these two positions at KSC, he has led the expendable vehicles and launch services teams through over 50 missions. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2000 and the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal in 2005.

Wood grew up in Joplin, Mo., and earned his bachelor's degree in physics from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan., in 1988. He worked in Hampton, Va., for Flight Mechanics and 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 and his wife Cordelia live in Cocoa Beach.

July 2007

Biographies - Current Employees