Spaceflight Insider

Think failure isn’t an option? NASA has a job for you

NASA is hiring flight directors for its human spaceflight operations at the agency's Mission Control Center in Houston. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA has posted multiple positions for the roll of flight director for its human spaceflight operations at the agency’s Mission Control Center in Houston. Photo Credit: NASA

Have you ever envisioned yourself as one of NASA’s flight directors overseeing space exploration missions from Houston’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center? Well, now is your chance as the U.S. space agency has recently posted the flight director position on USAJobs.

The flight director heads teams of flight controllers, research and engineering experts, and support personnel around the world, and makes the real-time decisions critical to keeping NASA astronauts safe in space.

“Flight directors play a critical role in the success of our nation’s human spaceflight missions,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at Johnson, in a NASA press release. “The job is tough, the responsibilities are immense, and the challenges can seem insurmountable. But the experiences and personal rewards are incredible.”

Whoever is chosen will lead human spaceflight missions in the new era of space exploration, which includes the introduction of American-made commercial crew spacecraft into the fleet of vehicles servicing the International Space Station, as well as Orion missions to the Moon and beyond.

Having a passion for all things space, while certainly helpful, is by no means sufficient to be considered. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. They also will need substantial, progressively responsible NASA/space-related professional experience, and proven leadership skills in high-stress situations.  Military veterans apparently receive a measure of preferential consideration.

Applications must be received by April 17, 2018 to be considered. Selections will be announced by mid-2018.




Jim Siegel comes from a business and engineering background, as well as a journalistic one. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and executive certificates from Northwestern University and Duke University. Jim got interested in journalism in 2002. As a resident of Celebration, FL, Disney’s planned community outside Orlando, he has written and performed photography extensively for the Celebration Independent and the Celebration News. He has also written for the Detroit News, the Indianapolis Star, and the Northwest Indiana Times (where he started his newspaper career at age 11 as a paperboy). Jim is well known around Celebration for his photography, and he recently published a book of his favorite Celebration scenes. Jim has covered the Kennedy Space Center since 2006. His experience has brought a unique perspective to his coverage of first, the space shuttle Program, and now the post-shuttle era, as US space exploration accelerates its dependence on commercial companies. He specializes in converting the often highly technical aspects of the space program into contexts that can be understood and appreciated by average Americans.

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