Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr. : biography
Kenneth Stanley Reightler, Jr. (born March 24, 1951) is a former NASA astronaut.
Reightler was born in Patuxent River, Maryland, but considers Virginia Beach, Virginia, to be his hometown. Married to the former Maureen Ellen McHenry, a psychotherapist; they have two daughters. He enjoys sailing, reading, music, hiking, and travel. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth S. Reightler, Sr., reside in Virginia Beach. Maureen's mother, Mrs. Jean W. McHenry and her father, Commander William H. McHenry (USN) are deceased. He graduated from Bayside High School, Virginia Beach, in 1969, and received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from United States Naval Academy in 1973. He received master of science degrees in 1984, in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and in systems management from University of Southern California.
In 1995, Reightler left NASA and retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Captain. He joined Lockheed Martin as the Program Manager for the Engineering, Test, and Analysis contract at the Johnson Space Center. He was then promoted to Vice President of the Science, Engineering, Analysis, and Test (SEAT) Operation providing engineering and science services to NASA and other government and foreign customers, including the prime engineering and science contract at the Johnson Space Center. In 2001, he was promoted to Senior Vice President (COO) of Lockheed Martin Space Operations, the corporation's organization responsible for providing technical services (engineering, science, and operations) to the Civil Space business sector and related government and foreign customers. He held a dual assignment as Vice President and Program Manager for NASA's Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) for the final year and one half of the contract. CSOC was responsible for managing all of NASA's communication and data services including the Deep Space Network, Space Network, Ground Network and Mission Control Centers. Reightler was promoted to President of Lockheed Martin Space Operations in 2004. During this period, he was successful in creating internal partnerships within Lockheed Martin that resulted in winning several important NASA competitions including the NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle (Orion) contract. With this win, he took the opportunity to transfer within Lockheed Martin from technical services to development. In December 2006 Reightler became the Vice President, NASA Program Integration for the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Human Space Flight. Reightler left Lockheed Martin in February 2011 to become the Vice President, Engineering Services for ATK Space Systems Division. In August 2012 he left ATK to join the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy. He continues to be an independent aerospace and business consultant to government and commercial organizations.
Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; National Defense Service Medal; NASA Exceptional Service Medal; two NASA Space Flight Medals; Johnson Space Center Certificate of Commendation; NASA Group Achievement Award; INTELSAT EVA Recovery Team Award. Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Absolute world altitude record for Class P aero-spacecraft. Mac Short Award in Aviation from U.S. Naval Academy (1973). Distinguished Alumni Award from U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. George M. Low Award. Member, Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. Challenger Seven Award from the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Reightler is an Eagle Scout. He also appeared on the Barney and Friends home video "Barney In Outer Space", and the film, "To Be an Astronaut." He was a technical advisor for the film, "Apollo 13."
In 2012, Reightler was selected as the Robert A. Heinlein Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy.
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