Robert D. Cabana is the tenth director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida where he manages a team of approximately 8,600 civil service and contractor employees. Prior to his appointment to Kennedy in October 2008, the former space shuttle astronaut served as the director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Cabana graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1971, with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has logged over 7,000 hours in 36 different aircraft.
Cabana was selected as an astronaut candidate in June of 1985, completing his training in 1986. He has flown four space shuttle missions serving as the pilot of Discovery on STS-41 in October 1990, the pilot of Discovery on STS-53 in December 1992, the commander of Columbia on STS-65 in July 1994, and the commander of Endeavour on STS-88, the first space station assembly mission, in December 1998.
Before being named the director of Stennis Space Center in October 2007, Cabana served as deputy director of NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In addition to his duties as an astronaut, Cabana’s NASA experience includes assignments as deputy chief, Aircraft Operations Division; chief, NASA Astronaut Office; manager, International Operations, International Space Station Program; director, NASA Human Space Flight Program in Russia; deputy, International Space Station Program; and director, Flight Crew Operations.
He is married to the former Nancy Joan Shimer of Cortland, N.Y. They have three children: two sons and a daughter.