Pamela Melroy serves as the senior technical advisor to the FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation in the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). Formerly, Col. Melroy served as the deputy director, Orion Space Exploration Initiatives at Lockheed Martin Corporation from August 2009 until April 2011. Prior to her position at Lockheed Martin, Col. Melroy was selected as an astronaut candidate by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and held several key positions within the NASA Shuttle program from 1994 until 2009, including team member on the Columbia Reconstruction Team, deputy project manager for the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Team, and branch chief for the Orion Branch of the Astronaut Office. As a NASA astronaut, she served as pilot on two Shuttle missions (STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002), and was the mission commander on STS-120 in 2007. She was the second woman to command a Space Shuttle mission. She has logged over 924 hours (over 38 days) in space.
Col. Melroy was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program in 1983 and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, graduating in 1985. She flew the KC-10 for six years at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana, as a copilot, aircraft commander and instructor pilot. Col. Melroy is a veteran of JUST CAUSE and DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, with over 200 combat and combat support hours. As an Air Force pilot, she has logged over 6,000 hours of flight time in over 50 different aircraft. She retired from the Air Force in February 2007. Col. Melroy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College, 1983 and a Master of Science degree in earth & planetary sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984.