HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Oct. 10, 2011 – Dynetics officials announced today that Jim Halsell, former NASA astronaut and retired Air Force colonel, will join the company this month as technical director in the space division. Halsell, whose most recent position was vice president of Safety and Mission Assurance at ATK, will manage advanced space transportation projects for Dynetics.
A five-flight shuttle veteran, Halsell has logged more than 1,250 hours in space. He was the pilot on STS-65 and STS-74, and commander of STS-83, STS-94 and STS-101. He served as NASA director of operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, and as manager of Shuttle Launch Integration for Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He led NASA’s Space Shuttle Return-to-Flight Planning Team after the Columbia accident and served as assistant director for spaceflight training and aircraft operations, Flight Crew Operations Directorate.
Halsell began his career in the U.S. Air Force in 1979. As an F-4 pilot qualified in conventional and nuclear weapons deliveries, he performed test flights in F-4, F-16 and SR-71 aircraft. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in general engineering and obtained a master’s degree in Space Operation at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. Previously, he served as a fighter pilot and strike package commander at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas and Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga.
Halsell graduated first in his test pilot school class and was awarded the Liethen/Tittle Trophy. Other awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the NASA Space Flight Medal (four times), the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (two times).
“Jim brings rare hands-on human-rated test flight, operations experience and managerial experience that will be invaluable to Dynetics’ space hardware programs,” said Steve Cook, director of space technologies.
Dave King, Dynetics executive vice president, added, “We are very fortunate to have someone of Jim’s caliber join us. With his experience flying high performance aircraft and commanding space shuttle missions and test flying SR-71 aircraft, he will greatly enhance our already impressive team of aviation and space professionals. We continue to add members to our team with skills in multiple technical and operational areas from both the government and commercial sectors.”
Dynetics Inc., with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., and offices throughout the United States, has delivered high-quality, high-value engineering, scientific and information technology solutions to customers within the U.S. government and a range of other market segments since 1974. Our mission is to bring expertise, integrity and tenacity to every relationship and to demonstrate our commitment to customers by providing powerful solutions to their technical challenges. Visit www.dynetics.com for more details.