Dr. Camarda is an astronaut, research engineer, inventor, author, educator, and internationally recognized expert and invited speaker on subjects related to engineering, engineering design, innovation, safety, organizational behavior, and education. He has over 60 technical publications, holds 9 patents, and over 20 national and international awards including: an IR-100 Award for one of the top 100 technical innovations; the NASA Spaceflight Medal, an Exceptional Service Medal; the American Astronautical Society 2006 Flight Achievement Award, and he was inducted into the Air and Space Cradle of Aviation Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
He was selected as an Astronaut Candidate in 1996 and flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-114, NASA’s Return-to-Flight (RTF) mission immediately following the Columbia disaster. He was responsible for initiating several teams to successfully diagnose the cause of the Columbia tragedy and, in addition, develop an on-orbit, wing leading edge repair capability which was flown on his RTF mission and all successive Shuttle missions until the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.
Dr. Charles Camarda retired from NASA in May 2019, after 45 years of continuous service as a research engineer and technical manager at Langley Research Center (LaRC), an Astronaut and Senior Executive (Director of Engineering) at Johnson Space Center (JSC), and as the Senior Advisor for Innovation and Engineering Development at LaRC.
Dr. Camarda is the Founder/CEO of the Epic Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation seeking to democratize education for learners at all levels. He is also the President of Leading Edge Enterprises LLC, an aerospace engineering and education consultancy.