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Astronaut Candidate Andre Douglas

NASA Astronaut Andre Douglas

NASA Astronaut

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Andre Douglas (Ph.D.)


Andre Douglas was selected by NASA to join the 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported for duty in January 2022. The Virginia native earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a master’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Douglas served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a naval architect, salvage engineer, damage control assistant, and officer of the deck. Upon selection, Douglas was a senior professional staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) working on maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions. Douglas holds a professional engineering license in the state of Virginia and is a champion of youth mentoring and development through FIRST robotics competitions and Junior Achievement mentoring programs.


Born in Miami, Florida. Married to the former Rachel Stapleton of Owensboro, Kentucky, and have two sons. His mother lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his father lives in Tampa, Florida. He enjoys soccer, basketball, kayaking, hiking, running, ping-pong, billiards, chess, and movies.


Graduated from Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, 2008. Master of science in mechanical engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2012. Master of science in naval architecture and marine engineering, University of Michigan, 2012. Master of science in electrical and computer engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2019. Doctorate in systems engineering, George Washington University, 2021.


Douglas’s first tour afloat was on Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where he led crewmembers through alien migrant interdictions, humanitarian relief efforts, and drug enforcement operations. During his time at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, he contributed to hundreds of technical reviews for maritime vessel compliance and provided worldwide technical support for numerous field commanders on maritime casualty response efforts as a Coast Guard naval architect. In 2015, Douglas transitioned out of active duty and began working at APL and supported space exploration, underwater robotics, and ocean system missions. He was a key contributor to a development effort for improving the U.S. ballistic missile defense system and was an unmanned surface vessel pilot through numerous, real-time Navy operations. Douglas also supported the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) planetary defense mission for NASA and a variety of proposals in APL’s space exploration sector. His research focuses on understanding the autonomous behaviors of swarming unmanned systems, specifically how to predict and quantify their performance over time.

NASA Experience

As an engineer at APL, Douglas supported the fault management team during the development of the DART planetary defense mission for NASA. He also supported the systems engineering team on MEGANE, a sophisticated gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer instrument, developed to support the Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Upon his selection as a NASA astronaut candidate, Douglas was participating in the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) at APL in collaboration with NASA to identify lunar surface needs and recommend technology development strategies. He also supported a variety of APL proposals for NASA.

Douglas reported for duty in January 2022 to complete two years of initial astronaut training as a NASA astronaut candidate.


National Honors Society, Western Branch High School, 2003. Parachutist badge, Air Force Academy, 2006. New England Men and Woman’s (NEWMAC) Track and Field All-Academic Team, 2006. U.S. Coast Guard Academy regimental commander, 2008. U.S. Coast Guard Genesis Council president, 2008. U.S. Two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, 2015. Black Engineer of the Year Award, most promising in government, 2015. Three Special Achievement Awards, APL, 2016/2018/2021. White House Fellowship National Finalist, 2020.