William F. Readdy

Commander (RET) William F. Readdy has the reputation for strong leadership and substantial expertise in program management and operations from more than 30 years of service to the United States as a military officer, pilot astronaut and civil service executive. He is a decorated naval aviator who served as a test pilot and instructor between carrier deployments to the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Readdy joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1986, but continued his military service in the Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of captain before retiring in 2000. He was flying as a research pilot at Johnson Space Center in Houston when NASA tapped him for the astronaut corps in 1987. In the next nine years, Readdy logged more than 672 hours in space on three shuttle missions. He commanded his third flight, docking space shuttle Atlantis at the Russian space station Mir in 1996 and overseeing the first exchange of American astronaut researchers living aboard the Russian outpost. Between shuttle missions, Readdy served in a variety of engineering support and management roles. One of his most important contributions was a five-month tour as director of NASA operations in Star City, Russia, where he implemented activities and fostered cooperation in the first, critical phase of the international space station partnership. In 2001, Readdy was appointed as NASA’s associate administrator for space operations and moved to Washington. Over the next three years while at NASA Headquarters, he led a $6 billion-a-year enterprise comprising five major programs, four field installations and more than 40,000 civil servant and contractor employees. Following the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia in February 2003, Readdy chaired NASA’s Space Flight Leadership Council, overseeing the agency’s recovery from the accident and the shuttle’s successful return to flight in July 2005. Readdy was honored as a Meritorious Rank Executive by President Bush in 2003 and in 2005 Readdy was awarded NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal for the second time. He has also been the recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal three times and the Exceptional Service Medal twice. In addition he is the recipient of numerous national and international aviation and space awards, and has been recognized for his contributions to aerospace safety.

Broadcast 480 (Special Edition)

Commander (Ret) William F. Readdy was the guest for this special Space Show program. We began our discussion noting that this was the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle and Commander Readdy had been a shuttle commander, NASA astronaut, and the former NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight/Operations, leading the shuttle's return to flight program. Mr. Readdy provided us with his insights on many topics related to NASA, the VSE, technology, engineering, our future in space, the Moon, and more.

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