Dr. Daniel J. Rasky is the Director for the Emerging Commercial Space Office at NASA Ames, and also a Senior Scientist with NASA. He is a Co-Founder and Director for the Space Portal whose mission is to 'Be a friendly front door for emerging and non-traditional space companies'. He recently completed a one-year Interagency Personnel Assignment (IPA) with the Space Grant Education and Enterprise Institute (SGEEI), where he served as a Senior Research Fellow supporting a number of emerging space companies and other organizations. This included provided expert consulting to SpaceX on the design and development of the heatshield for their Dragon capsule. SpaceX has chosen to use the PICA heatshield material, invented by Dr. Rasky and associates at NASA Ames, for Dragon. Dr. Rasky is an internationally recognized expert on advanced entry systems and thermal protection materials, with 25 years of experience in advanced entry systems and materials for NASA (20 years) and the US Air Force (5 years). Dr. Rasky has made significant contributions to flight hardware on seven NASA missions, including co-inventing the PICA heatshield material that enabled the NASA Stardust comet sample return mission, and is the primary heatshield for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) lander mission. Dr. Rasky is the recipient of the NASA Inventor of the Year Award (the first ever for NASA Ames), the Senior Professional Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, twelve NASA Group Awards, and eight Space Act Awards. He has 6 patents, 64 publications, is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and Senior Member of the ASME.
Director, NASA Ames Space Portal