Dave Drachlis
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034

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Fact Sheet
X-33 Artist’s Rendering

RELEASE: 00-136

Jeff Bland, an engineer and 17-year veteran of NASA’s Space
Shuttle program, has joined the NASA X-33 Program Office in
Palmdale, Calif., as deputy manager.

In his new role, Bland will help lead development of the X-33
technology demonstrator – a half scale, sub-orbital technology
demonstrator for a next-generation space plane.

The X-33 is being developed in a partnership between NASA and
the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company operating site – formerly
the “Skunk Works” – in Palmdale. Managed for NASA by the
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the X-33 program is
designed to demonstrate advanced technologies that will
dramatically increase launch vehicle reliability and safety, while
lowering the cost of putting a pound of payload into space from
$10,000 to $1,000.

Before accepting the X-33 deputy manager position, Bland
managed the NASA resident office at Pratt & Whitney in West Palm
Beach, Fla. There he led a NASA team working with Pratt &
Whitney to deliver high-pressure turbopumps for the Space Shuttle
Main Engines.

Bland began his engineering career in 1980 with D’Applonia
Consulting Inc., in Pittsburgh, where he performed structural
analysis for nuclear power – More – 2-2-2 Space Shuttle veteran
joins X-33 technology plants. He joined the Marshall Center in 1982
to work on structural analysis for complex Space Shuttle engine

In 1987, as a senior structural engineer, Bland joined a NASA team
established at Thiokol, Inc., in Brigham City, Utah, to help redesign
the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor following the Challenger

He was assigned to the NASA Resident Office at Pratt & Whitney in
1988 where he served as a senior engineering representative for
nine years until becoming resident office manager.

Bland earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1980 and a
master’s degree in civil engineering in 1982 from Carnegie-Mellon
University in Pittsburgh. He recently received a master’s degree in
business administration from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

He and his wife, the former Janice E. Ayles, have three children,
Christopher, Stephanie, and Lindsay.

They are planning to make their home in the Palmdale area.