Mr. Bryan O’Connor
- Independent Aerospace Consultant
- Former Chief of Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, NASA
- Former Director, Space Shuttle Program, NASA
- Former U.S. Marine Corps Test Pilot, and Space Shuttle Commander
Bryan O’Connor is an aerospace safety consultant. He retired from NASA in August, 2011 after 40 years of government service in the U.S. Marine Corps and NASA, and joined the ASAP in May, 2012.
O'Connor began active duty with the Marines in June 1968 following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He received his Naval Aviator's wings in June 1970, and served as an attack pilot, flying the A-4E Skyhawk and the AV-8A Harrier on land and sea assignments in the United States, Europe and the Western Pacific. O'Connor served as a test pilot with the Naval Air Test Center from 1976 to 1979. He participated in flying qualities, performance, carrier suitability, weapons and systems testing evaluations of various conventional and VSTOL aircraft, including the A-4, OV-10, AV-8 and X-22 VSTOL research aircraft. When informed of his selection to NASA's Astronaut Program in 1980, he was serving as the Assistant Program Manager (Acquisition) for the AV-8 program at the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington, D.C. In his eleven year detail to NASA, he served in a variety of research, development, test and evaluation functions including two space shuttle flights, as well as various operational, management and system safety engineering roles. In 1991 he returned to Patuxent River to serve as Commanding Officer of the Marine Aviation Detachment and as Chief of Staff for the Flight Test and Engineering Test Group.
Following his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1992, O’Connor returned to NASA to serve as Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight and Space Shuttle Program Director. He left NASA in 2006, working as an aerospace safety and systems engineering consultant to the Departments of Defense, Energy and Transportation as well as NASA. In 2002, he returned to NASA to serve as Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance for the agency, a role he performed until his retirement in August 2011.
O’Connor received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1968 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Systems from the University of West Florida in 1970. He graduated from the Naval Safety School at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, in 1972 and from the Naval Test Pilot School, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1976.
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