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  • Satellite Evolution Group

NASA Administrator names new Head of Space Technology


Dr. Kurt “Spuds” Vogel will serve as the new associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced. His appointment is effective immediately.


Vogel succeeds James Reuter, who retired from the agency in June 2023. Dr. Prasun Desai has served as the acting associate administrator since and now will return to his previous role as deputy associate administrator for STMD.


“With more than three decades of public service, including his most recent role as NASA’s director of Space Architecture, Spuds brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate,” said Nelson. “I am confident his leadership will help NASA continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with space technologies and advancing American leadership in space.”


In this role, Vogel is responsible for executive leadership, overall strategic planning and direction, and effective management for all elements of the Space Technology Programs executed under STMD’s $1.2 billion budget. He plans, directs, coordinates, and evaluates the full range of space technology programs and activities including budget formulation and execution, and represents the program to appropriate officials within and outside the agency.


Previously, Vogel was appointed as the director of space architectures within the Office of the Administrator at NASA Headquarters, a role he has served since July 19, 2021.


He joined the agency with 34 years of government experience, primarily in the Department of Defense.


Prior to his NASA appointment, Vogel served for six years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), leading innovative research in stealth technology, electronic warfare, air-space integration, and space control systems. He managed a portfolio of classified, state-of-the-art, high-risk programs that spanned multiple DARPA offices.


Before joining DARPA, Vogel led research and development efforts at the Air Force Research Lab’s Systems Technology Office where he directed a Defense Department science and technology portfolio. He also served as the acting chief technologist for the National Reconnaissance Office’s Survivability Assurance Office. He retired from active duty in 2010 after serving more than 21 years in the US Air Force in both the air and space domains. 


Vogel holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy. He is a member of the national honor societies for both engineering and aerospace engineering.


For more about Vogel’s experience, visit his full biography online at: https://www.nasa.gov/spacetech


For more information visit: https://www.nasa.gov


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