NEW SPACE CENTER DIRECTOR
PERSONIFIES NASA VALUES
afety, integrity, teamwork, excellence
These are the core values of National
Aeronautics and Space Administration,
where work is more than just a profession. It’s a
No person embodies these values more than our
cover subject, Janet Petro, who grew up in Satellite
Beach and went on to serve an appointment to the
Military Academy at West Point, where she embraced
the values of “Duty, honor, country.”
Growing up as the daughter of a NASA engineer,
Petro heads the John F. Kennedy Space Center. She
is running it while it is experiencing its largest
expansion in missions since the shuttle program
ended in 2011. On NASA’s agenda: Sending humans
back to the moon by 2024 and eventually to Mars.
Before becoming director of the Kennedy Space
Center, she had served as its deputy director for 14
years, helping to expand the center’s mission to
handle both government and a variety of commercial users.
In an interview with Space Coast Living writer Lucinda Coulter that begins on Page 16, Petro marvels at
where her career has taken her and the excitement of commanding the space center and its 7,300 civil and
“What I love about the job is that there’s always something really significant and impactful going on,” she
The center’s ambitious programs and accommodation of commercial users has had a profound impact on
Brevard County’s economy where companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Blue Origin and WebOne
Satellites manufacture components for space.
Petro has come full circle in Brevard, from her days at Surfside Elementary, DeLaura Middle and later
Satellite High schools to the directorship of the world’s leading space center. Brevard has been the
beneficiary in cultivating this outstanding homegrown hero.
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Janet Petro, Kennedy Space Center director.