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April 30, 2002
NASA ADMINISTRATOR NAMES NEW ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR SAFETY Bryan D. O'Connor, a former NASA Space Shuttle program director, astronaut and Marine Corps test pilot, was named Associate Administrator for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. He replaces Frederick D. Gregory, who has been leading the Office of Space Flight since December. O'Connor, 55, will be responsible for the oversight of all agency safety issues through the development, implementation and oversight of reliability, maintainability and quality assurance policies. He will report to NASA on June 3, 2002. "Bryan's distinguished career as both a naval aviator and NASA astronaut give him the perspective necessary to ensure the continued safety of our programs," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "His attention and dedication to safety were signature characteristics during his NASA career, and I look forward to his stewardship of this vital office." O'Connor was selected as an astronaut in May 1980 and is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions. He was pilot on STS61B in 1985 and crew commander of STS-40 in 1991. When the Space Shuttle Challenger was lost in 1986, he was given a number of safety and management assignments over the next three years. O'Connor organized the initial wreckage reassembly activities at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and established and managed the operation of the NASA Headquarters Action Center, the link between the agency and the Presidential Blue Ribbon Accident Investigation Panel. In 1986, he was appointed chairman of NASA's new Space Flight Safety Panel. O'Connor also served as Aviation Safety Officer for the astronaut corps. Before joining NASA, O'Connor was a U.S. Marine Corps test
pilot and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1968. He flew the A-4 Skyhawk and AV-8A Harrier on land and sea assignments in the United States, Europe and the Western Pacific. O'Connor left NASA in August 1991 to become commanding officer of the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, he returned to NASA Headquarters as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight and Space Shuttle program director. Among his other responsibilities, he developed a comprehensive flight safety improvement plan for the Space Shuttle. O'Connor left NASA in February 1996 to become an aerospace consultant. He rejoins NASA after serving as director of engineering at Futron Corp., a Washington-based aerospace safety and risk-management consulting firm. Additional information about O'Connor and OSMA can be found on the Internet at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codeq http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/oconnor-bd.html -end-