The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina


Mr. Stephen Odendahl

csmc_bio_photo_odendahlMr. Stephen Odendahl Citadel ’85, Physics; MA in Space Systems Management from Webster University. Mission Operations Director for NASA’s Space Science Mission Operations Project at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Mr. Odendahl has had a long and distinguished career in satellite operations since being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1985, where he was a lead analyst and mission controller for the launch and commissioning of nine Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite vehicles. Upon separating from the service as a Captain in 1992, he spent a year operating communications satellites for GTE Spacenet before joining Honeywell Technology Services, Inc and leading the operations concept development for NASA’s Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE). He was the Operations Supervisor for the Landsat 7 spacecraft from 1997 to 1999. He then led the ground system and operations concept development for the Space Technology 5 (ST5) technology demonstration mission. In 2001, Mr. Odendahl joined the civil service with NASA to serve as a Mission Director on a variety of space science missions including the Global Geospace Science missions, Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics probe (TIMED), Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere explorer (AIM), and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) before being selected as the Mission Director for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2010. In 2014, while maintaining his position as LRO Mission Director, he was promoted to Mission Operations Director for NASA’s Space Science Mission Operations Project where he serves on a variety of NASA review boards and mentors newly hired Mission Directors.

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