Herbert Harry Baker Jr.

League City, TX

PROGRAMS:

U.S. Space Shuttle ProgramInternational Space Station Program

COMPANIES:

LOCATIONS:

Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, NASA Headquarters, Space Station Program Office (Reston, VA)

POSITIONS:

NASA Contracting Office, Space Station User Cost Manager, Team Lead-Space Shuttle Procurement Office, Deputy Manager-Space Station Procurement Office, Deputy Manager-Exploration Systems Procurement Office, Manager-Projects Procurement Office, Manager-Operations Support Office, Assistant to the Director of Procurement

COMMENTS:

My NASA career started in 1969 with a series of temporary jobs with ABC-TV onsite at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) helping the TV network cover the Apollo 11, 12, and 13 missions.  I joined NASA full-time at JSC in 1976 as a contract specialist and worked there for 10 years in a variety of positions including jobs in the Orbiter Procurement Section (working on the contract with Rockwell International for acquisition of the Shuttle Orbiter vehicles), working on the contract with Hamilton Standard for the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), and serving a 1-year detail in the Space Station Program Office at NASA Headquarters in 1985 as the Space Station User Cost Manager.

With Space Shuttle Endeavour (known as Orbiter Vehicle 105) acquired under contract from Rockwell Int’l.

 

I returned to JSC in February 1986 – less than a month after the Challenger accident – and after a short stint in the Space Station Procurement Office, was sent to the Kennedy Space Center to serve as the Contracting Officer for the Space Station Program Support Contract (PSC) source evaluation board that was being hosted by KSC.  Once the board activity was completed in July 1987, I moved to the Space Station Program Office which was being relocated to Reston, Virginia, and completed negotiation of the PSC contract with Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, who had recently been appointed President of the Grumman Space Station Support Division.

Grumman newsletter article announcing Space Station support contract executed by Fred Haise for Grumman & Herb Baker for NASA.

After two years in Reston, I moved to NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, as a Senior Procurement Analyst.  During this period, I served as Chief of the Data Systems Branch, managing Agencywide procurement data systems, providing reports to NASA management, Congress, audit agencies, and the public on agency procurement activities.  I also instructed NASA Program/Project Management classes at Wallops Flight Facility on types of contracts and statement of work development on numerous occasions.

With NASA’s Super Guppy at Ellington Airport.

I returned to JSC in 1996 as a Team Lead in the Space Station Procurement Office. During this time, I supported the negotiation of a 3-way barter with the European Space Agency and Airbus for acquisition of the Super Guppy.  During this period, in late 1998, assembly of the International Space Station was begun with launch of the Zarya and Unity modules.  After 3 years, I moved to a Team Lead position in the Space Shuttle Procurement Office from 1999-2005 serving as the lead Contracting Officer for the Space Flight Operations Contract (SFOC) with United Space Alliance.  After the Columbia accident in 2003, I supported the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the STS-107 Columbia Task Force for those efforts.

In 2004, I became the Deputy Manager of the Space Station Procurement Office.  After 2 years, I was made Deputy Manager of the Exploration Systems Procurement Office, supporting the Constellation Program Office and the Orion Project Office.  From 2009-2016, I served as the Manager of the Projects Procurement Office (primarily supporting the Engineering Directorate) and later as the Manager of the Operations Support Office (primarily supporting the Flight Operations Directorate and the Office of Safety & Mission Assurance).  During 2016, I served as the Source Selection Official for the acquisition of a Gulfstream-V aircraft used for the direct return of NASA’s astronauts from Kazakhstan to Houston after their return from ISS Expeditions.

My last position before retiring in 2017 was Assistant to the Director of Procurement.  I was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in May 2010.

Receiving the NASA Exceptional Service Medal from JSC Director Mike Coats & JSC Deputy Director Ellen Ochoa in 2010.

With the Gulfstream-V aircraft my office acquired in 2016 for direct return of NASA astronauts from Kazakhstan to Houston after their ISS Expeditions.