NASA's Jon Cowart to Present Oct. 15 Keynote at 2015 IEEE Broadcast Symposium

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MELVILLE, N.Y. -- Sept. 3, 2015 -- Jon N. Cowart, partner manager for NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) in partnership with SpaceX, will serve as a keynote speaker for the 2015 IEEE Broadcast Symposium, scheduled for Oct. 13-16 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida. In addition to describing his role with the CCP and SpaceX, Cowart will share his experiences as a leader of numerous space shuttle missions and the redesign of the International Space Station. 

Online registration is now open for the four-day IEEE Broadcast Symposium, an annual gathering of broadcast engineers from the U.S. and around the world for technical sessions, networking, and knowledge transfer. Cowart's presentation will be the highlight of the symposium's BTS/AFCEE Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 15.

As NASA partner manager, Cowart is working with SpaceX during the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative and will be the mission manager for the first flight with a crew during SpaceX's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract. Through CCtCap, SpaceX will demonstrate the ability of its system to safely transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Prior to joining CCP, Cowart was the deputy mission manager in charge of the entire Ares I-X flight-test mission, which launched successfully on Oct. 28, 2009.

Cowart joined the NASA Kennedy Space Center in 1987 as a project engineer for the space shuttle Atlantis. Since then, he has led many teams, including the International Space Station flight 2A and 3A processing teams, the orbiter docking system team, U.S. Destiny Laboratory and airlock processing teams, and the shuttle Discovery engineering team. In 1993, Cowart received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work on the International Space Station redesign. He has also held the manager position of the Orbiter Sustaining Engineering Office at Kennedy, representing the Orbiter Project Office located at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. During the recovery and investigation of the shuttle Columbia tragedy, Cowart was the NASA engineering lead of the Columbia Reconstruction Team.

Prior to joining NASA, Cowart served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force assigned to the 6595th Shuttle Test Group at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Cowart received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal for his work with the shuttle program. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Cowart holds a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech University.

"Working with aerospace industry partners, Jon is playing a leadership role through NASA's CCP to facilitate commercial vehicle development and certification -- with the ultimate goal of enabling the safe transportation of NASA astronauts to and from the space station and other low-Earth orbit destinations," said Roz Clark, conference co-chair for the IEEE Broadcast Symposium. "Through his NASA career spanning almost 30 years, Jon has been on the front lines for some of the world's most challenging and inspiring missions into space. It's very exciting to have a space-industry visionary of Jon's caliber on our program, and we're all looking forward to hearing more about his experiences."

More information about the 2015 IEEE Broadcast Symposium, including online registration, is available at Past attendees are eligible for a $100 discount off the registration fee. More information is available by contacting Amanda Temple at 732-562-5407 or by email at Additional information about the society is available at 

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The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) is a technical society and council dedicated toward advancing electrical and electronic engineering by maintaining scientific and technical standards, as well as educating its members through various meetings, presentations, events, conferences, and training programs. IEEE BTS has more than 2,000 members and chapters worldwide and has its own business office located in Piscataway, New Jersey.

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Photo Caption: Jon N. Cowart, Partner Manager for NASA's Commercial Crew Program

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