Larry J. Crawford, who has spent nearly four decades
at APL, is the new
head of its Space Department. He succeeds Michael Griffin,
who was appointed NASA administrator in April.
Crawford now oversees the second-largest department at
the Laboratory, with more than 600 specialists tackling
some of NASA's and the military's toughest space science
and engineering challenges. His tenure begins as the Lab
closes in on two important spacecraft launches: New
Horizons, planned for launch to Pluto in January 2006, and
STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory), the third
mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program, set to
launch in February 2006.
His immediate challenges for the department also
include playing a role in President Bush's Vision for Space
Exploration and strengthening the Lab's Military Space
"A lot of changes — programmatic, technical,
quality assurance and managerial — have occurred in
the department in the last year, but so have many new
opportunities," Crawford said. "It's quite exciting to play
such a challenging role in the Space Department,
particularly at this juncture."
Crawford has worked for the last 18 years in APL's
Space Department, as associate department head, assistant
department head for business and program manager. Before
that, he spent 15 years as a supervisor in the Submarine
Technology Department, where he, among other duties, served
as chief scientist and project manager of many large-scale
ocean experiments. His first job at APL was as a physicist
in the Strategic Systems Department, where he participated
in the analysis and evaluation of the Polaris and Pershing
strategic weapon systems.
Crawford is a longtime member of the American
Astronautical Society, the American Geophysical Union and
the American Institute of Aeronautics. In addition to a
doctorate in fluid mechanics, he holds a master's degree in
space science and applied physics, both from Catholic
University of America, and a bachelor's degree in physics
from Case Western Reserve University.