John R. Casani, manager of the Galileo Project since 1978, has been appointed Deputy Assistant Laboratory Director, Office of Flight Projects, Dr. Lew Allen, Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has announced.
Richard J. Spehalski, who has been Flight Systems Integration Manager for the Galileo Project since its inception, has been named manager succeeding Casani.
The Galileo spacecraft, scheduled for launch in October 1989, will send an instrumented probe into the cloud tops of Jupiter and scientifically study the planet and its major moons from orbit for about two years beginning in the mid 1990s. Enroute to Jupiter, Galileo will investigate Venus, the Earth-Moon system and two asteroids.
Prior to directing the Galileo Project, Casani was manager of the Voyager Project and held key engineering positions on other JPL flight projects and also served as manager of the Guidance and Control Division.
He earlier was Spacecraft System Manager for the Mariner 1973 Venus-Mercury Project (Mariner 10). Joining JPL in 1956, he held key engineering positions on JPL projects, beginning with Explorer 1, and on the early Pioneers, Rangers, and Mariners, the first probes of the Moon and planets.
He is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his work on the Mariner 4 Mission to Mars, and twice received NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal, in 1974 for the Mariner 10 Venus-Mercury Project and in 1981 for his "contributions as Voyager Project Manager."
He also has received the Distinguished Alumni Gold Medal from the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 for his work in the design of spacecraft systems and their management; the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1965; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space System Award in 1979 and in 1981, the National Space Club's Astronautics Engineer Award for his work on the Voyager project.
Casani is native of Philadelphia and currently resides with his wife in Pasadena. They have four children.
Spehalski, prior to his most recent assignment, was the Applied Mechanics Division Project Representative for the Voyager Project from its inception in 1973 through launch in 1977.
He held the position of Project Engineer on the Mariner 9 mission to orbit Mars in 1971 and was Project Representative during launch operations at Cape Canaveral.
He also held key engineering positions on the Mariner Mars 1969 Project (Mariners 6 and 7), the Mariner Mars 1964 Project (Mariner 4) and the Mariner 4 test and launch operations.
His work on the planetary program started as temperature control engineer on Mariner and its successor, Mariner 2, to Venus in 1962.
He is graduate of Cornell University, 1958, and joined JPL in 1959 as development engineer on the Sargeant Missile System. He was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his contributions to the Voyager Project.
He and his wife currently reside In Altadena. They have three sons.
News Media Contact818-354-5011