Former astronaut and retired U.S. Air Force officer Pam Melroy was sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator during a ceremony at the agency’s Washington headquarters on Monday. Melroy was nominated for the position in April and confirmed by the Senate on June 17. Selected as an astronaut candidate in 1994, she served as pilot on space shuttle flights STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002 and mission commander on STS-120 in 2007, spending a total of more than 38 days in space.
“I’m very honored to be teamed with Administrator Nelson and our Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and rest of the NASA team,” said Melroy. “We do have a lot of work to do, but it’s our intention not to just lead today’s NASA, but also lead us forward into the future and support the generations of fantastic things that NASA will continue to do.”
Melroy earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College in 1983 and a master’s degree in Earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. Commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, she graduated from pilot training in 1985. She retired from the Air Force in 2007 at the rank of Colonel, having logged more than 6,000 flight hours in over 50 different aircraft. Melroy has also held positions with Lockheed Martin, the FAA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Nova Systems Pty.