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Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

Marny Skora
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-6121)

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE NO. 03-046

July 2, 2003


General Roy Bridges, the incoming Center Director of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., today announced the assignment of Ralph Roe, Jr., as his Special Assistant. He will join Langley Aug. 10.

Roe, who is currently the manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston (JSC), will assist General Bridges in the development of new agency safety initiatives.

"When it comes to safety and engineering assessment, we have some work to do and Ralph's leadership in those areas will help me kick into high gear," said General Bridges in making the announcement. "His tremendous engineering experience at Johnson and Kennedy make him a natural selection to assist this important agency imperative."

Langley today forges new frontiers in aviation and space research as it has since 1917, when it was established as the nation's first civilian aeronautics laboratory. The center supports important agency initiatives in aviation safety, quiet aircraft technology, small aircraft transportation and aerospace vehicles system technology.

The Hampton center has played a vital role in the Columbia investigation in the areas of entry aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, structures and materials research and non-destructive evaluation. Langley also supports NASA space programs with atmospheric research and technology testing and development.

NASA will be looking at these important capabilities to bolster its independent engineering assessment and strengthen the agency's safety policies, processes and analysis.

Before his assignment at JSC in 1999, Roe was the Space Shuttle Launch Director at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. He began his NASA career at KSC in 1983, serving initially as a propulsion systems test engineer. He also has been Chief, Fluid Systems Division, and Acting Director, Process Engineering.

Roe was named Process Engineering director in October 1996, with responsibility for the engineering management and technical expertise of personnel involved in pre-launch, landing, recovery and turnaround operations for the Space Shuttle fleet.

As the manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office at JSC, Roe led a team of more than 2,000 government and contractor engineers working on the fleet of NASA's orbiters. He has been instrumental in the technical leadership role of several Space Shuttle anomaly investigations and repairs.

"In the summer of 2002, it was Roe and his talented team of engineers who found a solution to the tiny cracks that were found in one of the metal liners used to direct the flow of fuel inside the Shuttle's main engine," said Bill Parsons, Space Shuttle Program Manager at JSC. "His engineering expertise and his concern for the safety of everyone around him made him a success at Kennedy and Johnson, and I am sure he will serve at Langley with the same distinction to broaden NASA-wide capabilities."

Roe has a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He also has a master's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Central Florida, Orlando.

Additional information about NASA and Langley are available on the Internet at:



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