Where are you from?
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Describe the first time you made a personal connection with outer space.
Growing up in Florida in the '60s, space was prominent in day-to-day life with the Cape only a few hours north. The connection was always there!
|"Evaluate every fork in your career path,|
and those that may seem out of the ordinary
and take you out of your comfort zone -- they
usually lead to exciting and new opportunities!"
How did you end up working in the space program?
By accident -- I worked with the range safety folks at WFF as a Navy civilian and through that connection ended up with an opportunity at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) project that I couldn't refuse!
Who inspired you?
I can't say that any one individual is responsible for inspiring me. I've sort of had two careers and had incredible mentors and friends in both that inspired me, helped me or were incredible role models -- be it Navy or NASA. On the more personal side, it was the dock master I worked for in college -- an old curmudgeon that pushed me hard, rewarded me equally and was the perfect counselor for a teenager who's father died in high school.
Tell us about a favorite moment so far in your career.
In my NASA career, working in the launch and deployment of the first NASA mission I worked -- TDRS-4 on STS-29.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the same career path as you?
Evaluate every fork in your career path, and those that may seem out of the ordinary and take you out of your comfort zone -- they usually lead to exciting and new opportunities! You never know where they lead!
What do you do for fun?
Restore old cars, boat, fish, hunt and ride bicycles.
Doug McCuistion leads the Mars Exploration Program. He has held positions in Earth and Space science at NASA Headquarters and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the United States Navy. At Headquarters he was the Director of Flight Programs for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. At Goddard, he worked on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), Geosynchronous Operations Environmental Satellite (GOES), Landsat, NEXUS (a James Webb Space Telescope precursor), and as a Deputy Director in the Information Systems engineering division. Prior to his career at NASA, Mr. McCuistion was a commissioned officer in the US Navy flying F-14 Tomcats and working the Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On mission. He retired at the rank of Commander in 1998.
Doug has been recognized with the rank of Meritorious Senior Executive, and awarded two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals; two Navy Commendation Medals; and various NASA, Navy, and other-Agency individual and group achievement awards.
Last Updated: 1 April 2013
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