The overview effect: What astronauts can teach us about perspective
CEO | Melroy & Hollett Technology Partners & Director of Space Technology and Policy | Nova Systems
Pam Melroy is an aerospace executive with government and industry experience across civil, commercial, and national security space. She is a retired Air Force test pilot and former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander.
Colonel Melroy received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College and a Master of Science degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She flew the KC-10 for six years at Barksdale Air Force Base as an Air Force co-pilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot. Colonel Melroy is a veteran of Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, with more than 200 combat and combat support hours. After attending the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Colonel Melroy was assigned to the C-17 Combined Test Force, where she served as a test pilot until her selection for the Astronaut Program. She has logged more than 6,000 hours flight time in more than 50 different aircraft.
Colonel Melroy was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in March 1995. She flew three missions in space: as Space Shuttle pilot during STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and as Space Shuttle Commander during STS-120 in 2007. All three missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station. She is one of only two women to command the Space Shuttle. She has logged more than 38 days in space.
Colonel Melroy retired from the Air Force in 2007, and left NASA in August 2009. After NASA, she served as Deputy Program Manager for the Lockheed Martin Orion Space Exploration Initiatives program and as Director of Field Operations and acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration. She went on to serve as Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where she executed a large air and space technology development portfolio. Colonel Melroy is now CEO of Melroy & Hollett Technology Partners and Director of Space Technology and Policy at Nova Systems, Pty, in Australia.