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For Release: Aug. 5, 1999
NEWS RELEASE: 99-180
Dr. John R. Rogacki Named Director of Marshall Center's
Dr. John R. (Row) Rogacki has been named director of the new Space Transportation Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The directorate is a key element created in a recent reorganization of the Center.
Frederick D. Bachtel, newly appointed deputy director of the Space Transportation Directorate, joins Rogacki in overseeing all space transportation projects performed at the Marshall Center.
The purpose of the new directorate is to strengthen the space transportation product line throughout NASA, unifying all related activities into a single organization to improve program efficiency and better serve Marshalls customers. The directorate takes a leadership role on all activities pertaining to space transportation systems development and propulsion system research. It further provides integrated research, technical services and skills that support such NASA programs as the Space Shuttle, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the International Space Station.
Additional appointments to the directorate are Dr. Helen V. McConnaughey, manager of the Vehicle and Systems Development Department, and Jerry W. Smelser, manager of the Technology Evaluation Department.
Rogacki, a 26-year U.S. Air Force veteran, was director of the Propulsion Directorate at Phillips Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., before he was appointed to the Marshall directorate. During his tenure at Phillips, he spearheaded design and delivery of space and missile propulsion technologies.
A native of Harrison, N.J., Rogacki is a 1973 graduate of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering in 1983 and a doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1992 -- both from the University of Washington in Seattle.
While serving on active duty in the Air Force, Rogacki logged more than 3,000 flight hours as a command pilot in aircraft ranging from motorized gliders to heavy bombers. From 1985 to 1987, he served as chief of the B-52 Branch, Standardization and Evaluation Division, 42nd Bomb Wing, stationed at Loring Air Force Base in Maine.
Rogacki returned to the Air Force Academy in 1987 as associate professor of engineering mechanics and chief of the Materials Division. During his tenure, he gained the distinction of being the first American engineer and military officer to lecture at Moscow State Technical University since the start of the Cold War.
In 1993, Rogacki joined Wright Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, serving as chief of the Structures Division and managing nearly all the Air Force's fixed-wing aircraft structural research and development. He advanced in 1995 to deputy director of the Flight Dynamic Directorate at Wright Laboratory, where he was responsible for orchestrating research and development in flight control, aeromechanics and other core areas.
Rogacki, his wife Wanda and their children, Janina and John, will reside in Madison, Ala.
Prior to his appointment to the Space Transportation Directorate, Bachtel served as manager of Marshalls Space Transportation Programs, overseeing the development and demonstration of advanced technologies for reusable launch vehicles.
Bachtel, a native of Oberlin, Ohio, graduated in 1968 from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio with an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering. By that time, he already had served Marshall for four years as a cooperative education student, working in the areas of thermal and environmental control for the Saturn and Skylab programs.
Bachtel spent more than two decades serving the Propulsion Laboratory in the Science and Engineering Directorate. He served in 1992 as chief engineer for vehicle design in the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle Office and in 1993 was appointed chief engineer for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project. In 1995, he was named deputy director of the Space Transportation Division of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Office.
Bachtel has received numerous NASA honors, including a 1985 NASA Exceptional Engineering Medal, a 1991 Exceptional Service Medal, a 1992 Manned Flight Awareness citation, and the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive for 1998.
He resides in Huntsville.
McConnaughey previously served as director of the Propulsion Laboratory for the former Science and Engineering Directorate. A former assistant professor at Mississippi State University, McConnaughey came to Marshall in 1985, initially joining the Structures and Dynamics Laboratory as an aerospace engineer before moving into the Propulsion Laboratory in a succession of leadership roles.
Smelser, who has been with Marshall since its establishment in 1960, comes to the directorate after serving as deputy manager of Space Transportation Programs. After spending his first 15 years at Marshall within the Science and Engineering Directorate, he turned his attention to the Space Shuttle Project, serving as project manager on a number of critical engine, tank and transport elements.
Note to Editors/News Directors: For interviews with Dr. Rogacki and Mr. Bachtel, or to obtain photographs supporting this release, media representatives may contact Ed Medal of the Marshall Center Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, visit Marshalls News Center on the Web at:
NASA Photo #9904264: Dr. John (Row) Rogacki, director of the Space Transportation Directorate at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
NASA Photo #9500408: Frederick Bachtel, deputy director of the Space Transportation Directorate at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Print-quality photos may be downloaded at:
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