Brian D. Welch, a veteran public affairs officer for the space agency and
NASA’s Director of Media Services, died Friday, Nov. 24, after suffering a heart
attack. He was 42.

“All of us at NASA are stunned and saddened by this tragic loss,” said NASA
Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. “Brian’s love and enthusiasm for space flight
exploration was infectious. He approached his job with a passion and a purpose
and truly embodied the spirit of this agency.”

As Director of Media Services, Welch led many of the agency’s public outreach
efforts. He was responsible for overall agency news operations, NASA Television
and the agency’s Internet efforts.

Welch began his NASA career as a public affairs cooperative education student at
the Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, in 1979. In 1981, he moved to the
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, to become editor of the Center newspaper, the
Space News Roundup.

In 1984, Welch became a public affairs mission commentator, providing real-time
descriptions from the Mission Control Center during Space Shuttle flights. He
also served as Deputy News Chief at the center, manager of the JSC mission
commentary team and newsroom manager during Shuttle flights. He served ten-
at NASA Headquarters as speechwriter for Administrator Goldin, before being
appointed Chief of News and Information in 1994. Welch was named Director of
Media Services in 1998.

“His passing is a tremendous loss for all of us,” said Peggy Wilhide, Associate
Administrator for the Office of NASA Public Affairs. “Our thoughts and prayers
out to Brian’s family, his many friends, as well as the many members of his
extended family here at NASA.”

Welch was a graduate of Murray State University, Murray, KY, and a native of
Fulton, KY. His mother, one brother and one sister survive him.