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LTC Lindley Johnson, BA - Astronomy 1980, University of Kansas

Program Executive - NEO, NASA
MS - Engineering Management 1990, USC
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Summary

Lindley Johnson is assigned to NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science Division, as the Lead Program Executive for the Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the NASA Planetary Defense Officer.  Prior to NASA he served 23 years of Air Force active duty, obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel and numerous decorations while working on a variety of national security space systems.  After joining NASA, he was the Program Executive for NASA’s Deep Impact mission to comet Tempel 1, launched in January 2005 to deliver an impact probe to the comet’s surface on July 4, 2005, and explore the composition and interior structure of comets. He then served for eight years as the Lead Program Executive for the Discovery Program of mid-class Solar System exploration missions.  NASA’s NEO Observations program has discovered over 12,000 near-Earth asteroids and comets since Lindley became its manager, over 80% of the total known.  Lindley has received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work on comet and asteroid missions.  Asteroid 5905 (1989 CJ1) is named “Johnson” to recognize Lindley’s efforts in detecting Near Earth Objects. Lindley graduated from KU with a BA in Astronomy in 1980.