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Doug Cooke is a 1973 Texas A&M aerospace engineering graduate. Now an aerospace consultant, he retired from NASA in 2011 as the associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA headquarters. Cooke was responsible for the Constellation, Space Launch System, Orion, Ground Systems Development and Operations, Commercial Cargo and Crew, Human Research and Exploration Technology Programs. He was a leader for many of NASA’s advanced studies in human space exploration since 1989, including the White House studies “The 90 Day Study,” and the “Synthesis Group Report, America at the Threshold.”

At NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Cooke led the space shuttle entry aerodynamic flight testing during the approach and landing tests in1977, and the shuttle’s early orbital flights. Following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, he helped lead the system engineering and integration team as part of the return of the space shuttle to flight. In 2003, he was NASA technical advisor to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

As a manager in the first Space Station Program Office, Cooke led early configuration and design analyses for the International space station design. He was later assigned leadership of the engineering and design during the Space Station redesign in 1993. He was subsequently vehicle manager, then deputy manager of the Space Station Program.

Among his awards are the 2017 Werner Von Braun Astronautics Engineer Award, Texas A&M Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Alumni Award, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, SES Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Rank Awards, three NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and NASA Exceptional Service Medal.