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Astronaut James Newman


NASA Experience:


  • Dec 1985 to July 2008: NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC).
    • Dec 2002 to Jan 2006: Director, NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program, Russia (Moscow)
    • July 1990 to July 2008: Astronaut Office, JSC

STS-51, 69, 88, 109 (four flights, six spacewalks)

  • Dec 1985 to July 1990: Training Division, JSC

Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Experience:newman_png


Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG)

  • October 2016 to the present: Chair and Professor, SSAG
  • October 2015 to August 2016: NPS Acting Provost
  • July 2008 to October 2015: Professor, SSAG
  • July 2008: transferred from NASA to the Department of the Navy
  • March 2006 to July 2008: NASA Visiting Professor at NPS

Research interests:

Since returning to Academia after a career at NASA, research interests at NPS include the use of CubeSats, rockets, and high-altitude balloons for focused research of National interest.  Topics include paradigm-shifts in cost and capability using these platforms with payloads for over-the-horizon comms and other purposes. Hands-on, laboratory projects are used to motivate the research and learning process.  Academic productivity includes a number of publications, presentations, and two patents, authored with students and colleagues.

Recently taught classes include:

SS1100 – Introduction to Programming for Space Applications

SS3400 / SS3500 – Orbital Mechanics and Launch Systems

SS3861 – Payload Design I

SS4861 – Payload Design II

Awards: include the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service (2016), the AIAA Haley Space Flight Award (2014), Rice University Distinguished Alumni Award (2007), and NASA’s Space Flight Awards (STS-51, 69, 88, 109).

Memberships: member of the Association of Space Explorers, American Physical Society, Sigma Xi, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics. 


  • Physics, Rice University, M.A. (1982), PhD (1984)
  • Physics, Dartmouth College A.B. (1978)