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RELEASE: 00-159

John R. London III has been appointed to the Senior Executive
Service position of manager of the Pathfinder Program Office
at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

London is responsible for overall management of the Pathfinder
Program, which develops and flight tests vehicles and
experiments for NASA’s Reusable Launch Vehicle program.

The goal of the Pathfinder Program — which includes the X-34
and X-37 test vehicles — is to demonstrate in-flight
technologies needed to dramatically lower the cost of putting a
pound of payload into space from $10,000 toward the goal of
$1,000. The X-34 is an air-launched sub-orbital rocket plane,
and the X-37 is an orbital space plane designed to be carried
to orbit by the Space Shuttle and then reenter and land on its

London previously served as manager of the X-34 Program,
and earlier was technical assistant to the manager of NASA’s
Advanced Space Transportation Program, both based at

London joined NASA in 1997 after completing a career in the
U.S. Air Force. A retired lieutenant colonel, his final active-duty
assignment was as program manager for the Space
Based Laser Program in the Ballistic Missile Defense
Organization at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

During his Air Force career, London served on the Space
Shuttle vehicle engineering team at Kennedy Space Center,
Fla., was the director of engineering for a classified space
system ground station at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.,
and served as Chief of Concepts and Analysis in the Brilliant
Eyes Satellite System Program Office within the Space
Systems Division at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

In 1992 London was selected as the Air Force Systems
Command research fellow and subsequently completed a
one-year research program aimed at lowering the cost of
space launch. He is author of a number of publications,
including the book LEO on the cheap — Methods for Achieving
Drastic Reductions in Space Launch Costs. He is an Associate
Fellow and past section chairman of the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the British
Interplanetary Society.

Born in Rock Hill, S.C., London holds a bachelor’s degree from
Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., and a master’s degree
from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. He also is a
graduate of the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School, Air
Command and Staff College, and Air War College, as well as
the Defense Systems Management College.

London and his wife, the former Joyce Low of Oklahoma City,
reside in Madison, Ala. They have four daughters, Elizabeth,
Sarah, Hannah, and Mary, and two sons, Joshua and Samuel.