NASA’s Dana Weigel to be the 1st female ISS program manager

Dana Weigel. Image credit: X/@AnnaMills1953

NASAs Dana Weigel would reportedly be the first woman to take charge of the International Space Station program at NASA.

Being named incoming permanent program manager for the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday (Feb. 26), Weigel succeeded Joel Montalbano.

Weigel would join the office on April 7, when Montalbano will be promoted to deputy associate administrator of space operations, agency officials said in a release.

“Dana is an excellent choice to lead the space station in human spaceflight, especially aboard humanity’s home in orbit…With Dana continuing her contributions to space station…NASA will continue to benefit from their human spaceflight knowledge and prepare for the future of the agency’s operations in space,” Ken Bowersox, NASA’s associate administrator for space operations was reported saying in release. “

Bringing 20 years of NASA experience to her new role, Weigel is currently serving as the agency’s deputy program manager for the ISSS since 2021.

As program manager, Weigel’s responsibilities will include the overall management, development, integration, and operation of the orbital complex.

Having previously served in a number of key positions at NASA, including as the manager of the Space Station Vehicle Office from 2014 to 2021, where she was responsible for sustaining, sparing and developing systems and payload facility hardware as well as managing the risks, and integrating commercial and international partner elements into the ISS.

Having served as deputy chief of the Flight Director Office from 2012 through 2014 and a flight director from 2004 to 2014, Weigel began her career with Barrios Technology in 1994 and became a NASA civil servant in 2004.

“Dana’s depth of expertise and International Space Station Program experience will be instrumental as we continue to explore low Earth orbit for the benefit of all humanity,” Vanessa Wyche, the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said in the statement.

Weigel will be the seventh ISS program manager in the 30 years the position has existed, and the first woman in a permanent position. 

Weigel will be responsible for the “overall management, development, integration, and operation of the orbital complex,” NASA officials stated. The station has been continuously occupied since November 2000 and has hosted 276 individuals representing 22 countries so far, according to agency statistics.