National Space Society Governor Dan Brandenstein Biography

dan brandenstein biography portrait

Dan Brandenstein

National Space Society Board of Governors

Daniel C. Brandenstein, former President of the National Space Society, is a former Space Shuttle astronaut and former U. S. Navy Captain. In October 2007, he joined United Space Alliance as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. United Space Alliance is NASA’s primary industry partner in human space operations, including the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Prior to joining NASA in 1978, he served as a Naval aviator starting in 1967. From 1968-1970 he participated in two carrier combat deployments in Southeast Asia and flew 192 combat missions in A-6 Intruders.

Brandenstein became an astronaut in August 1979. He was ascent spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) and a member of the astronaut support crew for STS-1 (the first flight of the Space Shuttle). He was subsequently assigned to the STS-2 astronaut support crew and was the ascent CAPCOM for the second Space Shuttle flight.

Brandenstein is a veteran of four space flights, logging over 789 hours in space. He was pilot for STS-8 in 1983 — the first mission with a night launch and night landing. He was commander of three missions: STS-51G in 1985, STS-32 in 1990, and STS-49 in 1992, which retrieved and repaired the Intelsat satellite. Brandenstein also served as Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1987 until leaving NASA and the Navy in 1992.

In 1993, Brandenstein served as the assistant to the Vice President and General Manager of IBM Federal Systems Company for the Space Station Program. From 1994 to 1996, he worked for Loral Space Information Systems, first as Director of Quality Assurance and then as Director of Program Development.

Frm 1996 to 1999, Brandenstein served as Executive Vice President and Program Manager for the Kistler Aerospace Corporation, where he was responsible for the design and development of a commercial reusable launch vehicle. After that he served as Vice President and Program Manager for the Mission Support Operations Contract at the NASA/Johnson Space Center for Lockheed Martin Mission Services until moving to his position at United Space Alliance in 2007.

Brandenstein’s many honors include two Defense Superior Service Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, and two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003.