Meet: Bruce Yost
Payloads Operations Supervisor
Ames Research Center
Who I Am
I am a Supervisor for the Payloads Operations department of the Lockheed
Martin contract at Ames Research Center (ARC). My job function is to manage
and provide resources for use by the various projects underway at ARC.
Resources can be defined as personnel, materials and travel funds so that
members of the project teams can perform their functions. I support the
Payload Operations Manager directly. I also receive direction from the
NASA project elements.
I was also a member of the Neurolab Ops Team for Neurolab, specifically
during KSC loading operations prior to launch. The crew training function
is also one of my responsibilities, so I helped manage the fabrication
and shipment of crew training hardware for use at JSC and travelled to
JSC on some occasions to help configure the various training facilities
My Career Journey
I sort of backed into this career. I originally trained for a biomedical
or biotechnology career, but found work on SpaceLab 1 (STS-9) at Dryden
immediately after graduating from UC Davis in 1983. My degree was right
in line with the type of work NASA was doing and planning to do on the
shuttle. I have always followed the space program, from when I watched
the Apollo missions up through the space shuttle missions, Mir, and now
on to ISS.
Likes/Dislikes about career
Working on the space program clearly has positive aspects for me. Such
an important and large undertaking provides a strong sense of public service
and a feeling of contribution to all of our everyday lives. It is also
is a highly visible area and enjoys a large amount of public interest,
i.e., it's "cool stuff".
Negative aspects include frequent and sometimes lengthy travel (this
is also a positive aspect, in some cases). Other minor negatives are having
to work within a large bureaucracy with all its attendant inefficiencies
and delays. These are relatively insignificant in respect to the positives.
Preparation for Career
As a child, I read the usual science fiction and action hero stuff.
I built and flew model airplanes and rockets (still do on occasion). I
participated in the Boy Scouts and played organized team sports almost
constantly. I read a lot of science and nature material as well, including
astronomy (still do).
Take the "hard" courses: physics, calculus and chemistry. We live and
breath that stuff all day around here. The rest is pretty regular, in
my opinion. Also, a second language may be a plus nowadays, (especially
Russian or Japanese), due to the international scope of our work.
I guess my father was the most influential person in my career - not
directly, but more as a role model or living example. He retired as a
pilot from the Air Force and then went to work for a NASA contractor as
a physiologist at the Dryden Dispensary. One of the first things he supported
were the original shuttle landings (yep, even STS-1). I used to see him
on TV as the cameras followed the crews around. So I guess it was a natural
step for me.
I have a son, 6, and two daughters 4 and 2. I have two dogs (Dalmatians,
a boy and a girl) and two cats (outdoors types). I continue to work on
my education (in this business you're never really done) and plan to teach
later in my career, probably in higher education.
I like to listen to and play music (piano, guitar) and read (mostly
science/technology related material; also management literature for my
degree work). I play soccer, coach soccer (my son's team) and love to
watch the children play sports.