Dr. Stephen B. Johnson is an associate research professor with the Center for Space Studies, within the National Institute for Science, Space, and Security Centers at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is currently assigned under Interagency Personnel Agreement as a System Health Management Engineer for the Advanced Sensors and System Health Management Branch, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. At NASA, from 2005 through 2010 Dr. Johnson worked on the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle project of the Constellation program, heading development of a diagnostic system model and supporting analyses of failure detection, fault isolation and identification, and abort conditions. He also supports the development of the Fault Management Handbook for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate by developing its core “principles and concepts.” Also since 2005 he has been developing the first reference textbook for System Health Management, to be published in 2011 by John Wiley United Kingdom, titled System Health Management: With Aerospace Applications.
Dr. Johnson is the author of The United States Air Force and the Culture of Innovation, 1945-1965 and The Secret of Apollo: Systems Management in American and European Space Programs, and numerous articles in the history of space endeavors and history of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence, and aerospace engineering topics in fault management system health management. He is the general editor for the two-volume encyclopedia of space history, Space Exploration and Humanity: A Historical Encyclopedia, published in 2010, including dozens of its articles. Formerly the editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly, Dr. Johnson has had a variety of previous positions. Just prior to coming to UCCS, he was a faculty member at the University of North Dakota Department of Space Studies. Prior to this, he was the associate director of the Charles Babbage Institute for Computer History at the University of Minnesota, was the co-owner and vice president of engineering of Dependable Systems International, Inc., a research engineer for the University of Cincinnati, and an engineer working at Martin Marietta, and before that at Northrop and as an engineering associate at the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Whitman College, and a doctorate in the history of science and technology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Dr. Johnson performed a variety of tasks at these previous positions. At UND, Dr. Johnson taught space systems management, space economics, space history, and military space. During his tenure with his small company, Dependable Systems International he did early studies of the Pluto mission, supported proposal teams working with Rockwell on the X-33 and Mars Geophysical Survey, and did general methodology research with Boeing Company and NASA Ames Research Center. As the associate director of the Babbage Institute, Dr. Johnson led a successful proposal to the National Science Foundation to fund a history of the computer as a scientific instrument, wrote the quarterly newsletter, and a variety of administrative and research tasks. While at Martin, he worked on the Magellan probe to Venus, designing the attitude control fault protection algorithms, attitude control flight contingency plans, coordinated attitude control flight software requirements with the flight software group, and headed a test analysis group; he also later headed Martin’s research program in Vehicle Health Management. At Northrop, he was the manager of a real-time flight control simulation laboratory using analog, digital, and hybrid computers.
Johnson, Stephen B., “From the Secret of Apollo to the Lessons of Failure: The Uses and Abuses of Systems Engineering and Project Management at NASA”, in Steven J. Dick, ed., NASA’s First 50 Years, A Historical Perspective, NASA SP-2010-4704 (Washington, DC: NASA, 2010), Chapter 12, pp. 287-324.
Johnson, Stephen B., “The History and Historiography of National Security Space,” in Steven J. Dick and Roger D. Launius, eds., Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight, SP-2006-4702 (Washington, D.C.: NASA, 2006), pp. 481-548.
Johnson, Stephen B., “The Political Economy of Spaceflight,” in Steven J. Dick and Roger D. Launius, eds., The Societal Impact of Spaceflight, SP-2007-4801 (Washington, D.C.: NASA, 2007), pp. 141-191.
View Dr. Johnson's recent publication on "Diagnostics Models for Failure Analysis and Operations" in NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.
Current Research Projects:
Page last edited: 6-2-11