Douglas R. Cooke

Doug Cooke is an aerospace consultant with over 43 years’ experience in human space flight programs, advising companies and government on program strategies, program management, proposal development, strategic planning and technical matters. In 2011 Mr. Cooke retired as Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), having been assigned to this position in December, 2008. Mr. Cooke served as Deputy Associate Administrator for ESMD from 2004 until 2008. As Associate Administrator, Mr. Cooke was responsible for the Constellation, SLS, Orion, Ground Systems Development and Operations, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, Commercial Cargo and Crew, Human Research and Exploration Technology Programs. These programs developed flight vehicles, hardware systems, technology and human research for transportation to the International Space Station and for human exploration into deep space, including the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, Mars and its moons and other destinations. In his last year at NASA, Mr. Cooke led the directorate and program teams in the analysis, design and establishment of the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle and the Space Launch System. He personally presented the proposals at agency level meetings for NASA Administrator approval. Mr. Cooke has 38 years of unique experience at NASA, with 32 years at Johnson Space Center and 6 at NASA Headquarters. He held significant responsibilities during critical periods of the Space Shuttle, Space Station and Exploration Programs, including top management positions in all three programs. In 2003, Mr. Cooke served as NASA technical advisor to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Mr. Cooke played a pivotal role in planning for human space exploration into deep space beginning in 1989. He helped to lead a NASA team that produced the “90 Day Study” on lunar and Mars exploration. Mr. Cooke was subsequently assigned to the Synthesis Group led by Lt. General Tom Stafford, Gemini and Apollo Astronaut. The team produced a report for the White House entitled “America at the Threshold: America’s Space Exploration Initiative.” Subsequently, Mr. Cooke led NASA agency-wide studies for the human return to the Moon, and exploration of Mars. Mr. Cooke is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.