Dr. Daniel Rasky, a NASA Senior Scientist, was a co-founder of the Space Portal and the first Space Portal Director. In 2006, Dan was awarded the Exceptional Achievement Medal for "promoting and developing partnerships with emerging and nontraditional space industry in order to progress the commercial development of space for the benefit of NASA and the country."
Awarded NASA's most distinguished recognition for innovators "Inventor of the Year" in 2007 and "Government Invention of the Year" in 2009, Dan was the primary Inventor or significant contributor to flight hardware for seven NASA flight systems (Space Shuttle, DC-XA, SHARP-B1&B2, Mars/Pathfinder, DS-II, MER Spirit & Opportunity, Stardust). In 2007, President Bush conferred on Dr. Rasky the rank of Meritorious Senior Professional for sustained superior accomplishment in the conduct of programs of the United States Government and noteworthy achievement of quality and efficiency in public service.
His inventions included the Thermal Protection Systems that enabled the Stardust comet sample return mission, which was the fastest ballistic entry of a manned made object into the Earth's atmosphere in history.
Formerly Chief for the Thermal Protection Materials and Systems Branch at Ames, Dan is an internationally recognized expert for space thermal protection and entry systems. Recently Dan was a member of the business evaluation team for COTS.
For the past two years, Dan has worked with SpaceX to develop the thermal protection systems for their DragonLab.
Dr. Rasky began his professional career working for a small Aerospace Company (Acurex) doing R&D contracting work for the Air Force.