MICHAEL J. CASSUTT is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California. Mr. Cassutt is the co-author of two astronaut biographies—Deke! and We Have Capture: Tom Stafford and the Space Race—which address early issues in the formation of NASA’s Astronaut Office. He is an experienced writer of nonfiction, not only contributing articles to such magazines as Space Illustrated, Space World, and Air & Space, but also to books such as Magill’s Survey of Science: Space Exploration Series. He is also the author of the biographical encyclopedia Who’s Who in Space; this work, for which Mr. Cassutt conducted dozens of interviews over a period of 10 years, contains biographies and photos of 700 astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world. Mr. Cassutt has appeared on camera for the History Channel and on BBC documentaries about disasters in space, as well as on specials about astronauts and test pilots. As an author, he has published more than three dozen short stories, a science fiction novel, and a fantasy novel and has co-edited an anthology. As a television script writer and producer, he has been on the staff of a dozen different primetime network and cable series. He received a B.A. in television and radio journalism from the University of Arizona.
RICHARD O. COVEY is an independent consultant. He retired in 2010 as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of United Space Alliance, LLC, where he was ultimately responsible for the direction, development, and operations of the company. United Space Alliance is NASA’s prime contractor for space shuttle and ISS operations, including launch and recovery, mission planning and support, and astronaut training. Early in his career, Mr. Covey served in the USAF as a test force director, test pilot, and operational fighter pilot. As an operational fighter pilot, he flew 339 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia. Mr. Covey later joined NASA and became an astronaut, serving as pilot of Space Transportation System (STS) mission 51-I and STS-26, and as commander of STS-38 and STS-61. Mr. Covey also served as co-chair of the Return-to-Flight Task Group, for which he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His numerous honors also include the Department of Defense (DOD) Distinguished Service Medal, the DOD Superior Service Medal, 5 Air Force Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the AIAA Haley Space Flight Award for 1988, and the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award for 1988. He received a B.S. in engineering sciences with a major in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University.
DUANE W. DEAL is currently senior vice president for National Security Programs at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT). Mr. Deal is a retired brigadier general in the USAF. Prior to joining SGT, he was the director of National Security Space Programs for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Preceding his service at Johns Hopkins, Mr. Deal was commander of the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. His responsibilities in that role included executing the United States Northern Command homeland defense mission. Mr. Deal also commanded the Air Force’s geographically largest wing, responsible for the nation’s space surveillance and space control missions. He has extensive experience in USAF space operations, maintenance, and logistics, and also in flight operations where he piloted seven Air Force aircraft, including the SR-71. He has served on national commissions, including the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and the Defense Science Board Task Force. Mr. Deal received his B.S. in physics and an M.S. in counseling and psychology from Mississippi State University and an M.S. in systems management from the University of Southern California.
BONNIE J. DUNBAR is currently president and chief executive officer of Dunbar International, LLC. She is the former president and CEO of the Seattle Museum of Flight. Dr. Dunbar began her extensive career with NASA when she accepted a position as a payload officer/flight controller at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). She became a NASA astronaut and also served as deputy associate administrator for the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences at NASA Headquarters. In 1994 and 1995, Dr. Dunbar lived in Star City, Russia, for 13 months to train as a backup crew member for a 3-month flight on the Russian space station Mir and was certified by the Russian Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to fly on long-duration Mir Space Station flights. In 1995 and 1996, she was detailed to the NASA JSC Mission Operations Directorate as assistant director; there she was responsible for chairing the International Space Station Training Readiness Reviews and facilitating Russian-U.S. operations and training strategies. Dr. Dunbar has also served as assistant director at the NASA JSC with a focus on university