Barbara Braun is the systems director in the Agile Space Acquisition and Implementation group of the Space Innovation Directorate at The Aerospace Corporation. She is responsible for acting as Aerospace’s counterpart to the Director of the Department of Defense (DOD) Space Test Program, and supports the activities of the Space Demonstrations Division of SMC/AD, developing and launching the Air Force’s next generation of critical warfighting technologies.
Braun joined Aerospace in November 2000 as a senior member of the technical staff. Since then, she has overseen satellite and ground system design, directed integration and test activities, and provided direct on-console flight operations support to more than a dozen missions, earning multiple awards and accolades. She orchestrated the complex astrodynamics of CloudSat’s return to NASA’s Afternoon Constellation following a serious battery anomaly. She has presented her work to several conferences and to the corporate Board of Trustees, and she co-teaches a popular course at The Aerospace University on cradle-to-grave program perspectives.
Previously, Braun served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, and she recently retired from the Air Force Reserves after more than 21 years of combined service. She has been decorated for her support to high-visibility special access space programs and proximity operations missions. She helped develop Air Force space safety policy for launch, on-orbit operations, and reentry. She has authored several articles on space safety.
Braun earned her bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics (with a minor in physics) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico.
Awards and Honors
Braun has received a number of awards and accolades, including a NASA Honor Award for exceptional achievement for orchestrating the CloudSat to the A-Train Constellation in May 2012; multiple Aerospace Achievement Awards and ORS Recognition Awards for work on Operationally Responsive missions; and many military awards for her work on operations and policy development. She is the holder of DARPA coin #1608, presented by the DARPA director, for support to a high-profile mission.