Jerry Cook, a native of Greensboro, Alabama, has been named deputy director of NASA’s Space Launch System Program at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world for deep-space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

Appointed to the position in December 2015, Cook shares responsibility for all facets of the SLS Program, including programmatic and technical planning, procurement, development, testing, evaluation, production, and operation of the integrated SLS.

Cook has over 30 years of experience in both an operational and developmental environment of strategic planning, program management and program execution. He has held numerous key positions throughout his NASA career, including chief engineer for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and deputy director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Cook also was associate program manager for the Space Launch System Program, while concurrently serving as acting manager of the SLS Program Planning and Control Office.

Cook began his NASA career in 1985 as a test engineer at Marshall in the Technology Evaluation Department. He later served as a test conductor for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Test Program.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1984 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical papers and books on aerospace and propulsion. He was selected as a Distinguished Departmental Fellow of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2007, and was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow into the university’s College of Engineering in 2014. He currently serves as a member of the school’s Mechanical Engineering Department Advisory Board.

Cook and his wife, Felicia, reside in Huntsville. They have a son, who recently graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a daughter, who is currently attending the same university.

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