Peggy S. Hayes is the acting director for Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Appointed to the position in December 2023, she is responsible for the management and technical direction of the center’s safety and mission assurance programs.
Previously, Hayes was the deputy director for S&MA, starting in December 2016. In that position, she acted as S&MA director when needed for management and technical direction at the center. Hayes also oversaw independent reviews of project safety and mission assurance activities; reported to the S&MA director on the status of NASA Armstrong’s overall safety program; and managed resources and funding for the safety directorate as well as system safety hazard analysis and project support for the center’s airworthiness and flight safety review processes.
In 2014, Hayes worked as the deputy chief systems engineer for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System project.
From 2005 to 2012, she was the flight dynamics lead for the Flight Test Office for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Pad Abort-1 (PA-1) flight test. As part of the PA-1 launch team, Hayes narrated the successful flight test in White Sands, New Mexico, for live coverage of the flight test.
Starting in 2001, Hayes worked on the Intelligent Flight Control System and was responsible for the handling and flying capabilities, reconfiguring the neural-network-based controller that assists a pilot when aircraft is damaged or had structural failures.
Hayes began her career at NASA Armstrong in 1999 as a flight dynamics and controls engineer working on the X-33 and X-34 projects, performing analysis and verification and validation of the software simulation for both vehicles. Before coming to NASA, Hayes was a high school teacher for physical science, mathematics astronomy, and computer programming in Marietta, Georgia.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Science in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.