Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts
Richard O. “Dick” Covey retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Space Alliance, LLC, in 2010. As President and CEO, Covey was ultimately responsible for the direction, development and operations of the company. United Space Alliance (USA) is NASA’s prime contractor for Space Shuttle and Space Station operations, including launch and recovery, mission planning and support, and Astronaut training.
Covey served as USA’s Chief Operating Officer from February 2006 until his appointment as CEO in October 2007. Prior to joining USA, Covey served as President of Boeing Service Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, responsible for technical and operations support to government and commercial programs at over 20 locations worldwide. Before moving to Boeing Service Company, he was Vice President of Boeing Houston Operations. Covey joined The Boeing Company as division director for McDonnell Douglas’ Houston Operations in 1996. Between 1994 and 1996, he was a Unisys deputy program manager for space operations in Houston.
From 2003 to 2005, Covey lead the independent assessment of NASA’s actions in response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board recommendations as co-chairman of the Return-to-Flight Task Group. For this, he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.
A former NASA astronaut, Covey commanded the flight of Endeavour in December 1993 to service and repair the Hubble Space Telescope, a mission for which he and his crew received the National Space Club’s Goddard Trophy in 1994. His other space flights included STS-38, a classified Department of Defense mission in 1990; STS-26, the first flight of Discovery after the Challenger accident in 1988; and STS 51-I, another spacecraft repair mission in 1985. In addition to his flight duties, Covey held key management positions in the Astronaut Office and Flight Crew Operations Directorate at the Johnson Space Center during his 16 years with NASA.
Prior to joining NASA, Covey served as a US Air Force test force director, test pilot and operational fighter pilot. His honors include two Defense Distinguished Services Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and five Distinguished Flying Crosses, including four received during the 339 combat missions he flew over Southeast Asia. In 2004, he was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. He is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University.
Covey was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 1, 2004. He currently serves on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s Board of Directors.