Former NASA Human Research Program Chief Scientist Joins Space Center Houston

John B. Charles, Ph.D.

John B. Charles, Ph.D.

HOUSTON, July 5, 2018 – Space Center Houston welcomes 33-year NASA veteran scientist John B. Charles, Ph.D. as the nonprofit’s first scientist in residence. This new role will emphasize and integrate the human health and performance aspect of space exploration into the center’s learning environment.

Dr. Charles will help interpret space research into guest experiences and education programs via exhibits, presentations, experiential activities and curriculum, according to Tracy Lamm, the center’s chief operating officer.

“We pride ourselves in offering guests an authentic learning experience,” said Lamm. “John adds a true science connection to space exploration with his decades of experience.”

A lifelong enthusiasm for space combined with the opportunity provided by a career at NASA allows Dr. Charles to demystify space flight for people intimidated by its complexity.

“I want to encourage anyone drawn to the power and the excitement of space exploration to pursue it,” said Dr. Charles. “I want everyone to have an opportunity to learn about space and find their place in such a vast undertaking.”

Dr. Charles will be featured at the July 26 Starlight Social, along with the Chief Scientist for Human Factors and Behavioral Performance at NASA, Dr. Tom Williams. They will discuss how NASA researchers seek to optimize human health and performance throughout all phases of spaceflight with young professionals at the social learning event.

Dr. Charles will also make regular appearances at the Thought Leader Series, bringing together the brightest minds in space exploration to speak with the public on historic milestones, current endeavors and future possibilities of space exploration. He moderated the latest installment on June 28, with three of the first female NASA astronauts.

Dr. Charles served as Chief Scientist, Human Research Program at NASA Johnson Space Center and led NASA’s space life sciences planning for the joint US/Russian one-year mission on the International Space Station, including the Twins Study.

Read his full biography here.


The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space exploration learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws 1 million visitors annually, was named “Best Museum in Texas” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 250,000 teachers and students from around the world visit the center annually to experience our educational space museum with more than 400 things to see and do. For more information, go to