Andy Petro, Acting Director for Early Stage Innovation
Andrew Petro is the Acting Director of the Early Stage Innovation Division of the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters. Previously he was the Program Executive for the Innovation Incubator in the Innovative Partnerships Program where his responsibilities included managing the Centennial Challenges and several other public-private partnership programs. After graduating from Notre Dame he worked in Space Shuttle Mission Operations in Houston, Texas and joined the NASA Johnson Space Center engineering staff in 1985, developing concepts for human launch systems, space stations, orbital debris control, lunar transportation, lunar bases and Mars exploration. He led numerous design projects for spacecraft concepts and worked with Russian engineers to adapt the Soyuz spacecraft for use with the International Space Station. He holds two US patents and authored the chapter on space vehicle design in Human Space Flight: Analysis and Design
(McGraw Hill, 2000). As a systems engineer and project manager in the NASA Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory, he led superconducting magnet and cryocooler technology projects and other efforts supporting demonstrations of a magneto-plasma rocket engine. While at the Johnson Space Center he also served as Deputy Manager of the In-Situ Resource Utilization Program and as Launch Vehicle Integration Manger for the Mission Operations Directorate.
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