Now in her second year as director of her division, Deirdre “DeeDee” Healey has put in place an energetic and talented team of Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) professionals who are motivated to meet the challenges ahead.
Healey was appointed director of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) Mission Support Division (MSD) in February 2013. She leads SMA activities in support of all NASA spacecraft, including the International Space Station (ISS) and space hardware developed for exploration programs and commercial space activities, science payloads, expendable launch vehicles, and aeronautics programs. In addition, she provides OSMA’s primary interface with NASA’s mission directorates, Office of the Chief Technologist and center SMA organizations.
Healey’s focus includes contributing to the agency’s goals of continuing to safely fly the ISS, ensuring successful science and technology missions, preparing for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and preparing for eventual “boots on Mars.”
To succeed, Healey and MSD will need to adapt to a rapidly changing business and technology environment that includes
- Acquiring services versus traditional procurement for space systems, such as the Commercial Crew Program
- Different engineering practices, such as “light touch” integration for Exploration Systems
- New technology such as additive manufacturing or 3-D printing
- Federal Aviation Administration licensing for missions traditionally certified by NASA or the Department of Defense
- An increasingly congested space environment with more and varied players, and new and unique spacecraft and missions such as nanosats and cubesats
Healey is confident that MSD is up to the challenges. “We have a great team,” said Healey, “and I look forward to the contributions the team will make toward successful NASA missions in the future.”
Healey has more than 27 years of experience in space systems safety and mission assurance, program management, engineering, operations, and policy. Prior to joining NASA, she led development and operations of national and international space systems in the U.S. Air Force. Previous positions include program manager, Inertial Upper Stage; director, Titan Program Operations and Integration; deputy program manager, launch projects at Cape Canaveral Air Station; chief, International Policy Branch for United States Strategic Command; and technical director for requirements, Air Force Satellite Control Network. In addition, Healey served on various Mishap Investigation Boards including the presidentially commissioned Launch Broad Area Review and the Titan IVA-20 Accident Investigation Board.
Healey has a master's degree in Government from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois.