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Meet: Bruce Yost

Payloads Operations Supervisor
Ames Research Center

photo of bruce yost

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 there.

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).

Advice

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.

Influences

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.

Personal Information

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.

 
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