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[cdn-nucl-l] Leader for Boeing Nuclear Space Systems Program
Boeing Selects Leader for Nuclear Space Systems Program
Chicago - Sep 25, 2003
Boeing has selected Dr. Joe Mills to lead the company's effort on the
Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) program, part of a NASA initiative to
develop nuclear power and electric propulsion technologies to revolutionize
Mills and his team will explore technology options for building the first
spacecraft that would use nuclear electric propulsion. Boeing is one of
three companies exploring technology options (called a Phase A study
contract) for JIMO.
Mills previously headed the International Space Station (ISS) program for
Boeing NASA Systems. The company is NASA's prime contractor for the ISS and
is responsible for design, construction, integration and operation of the
"JIMO, like the International Space Station, is an exciting and
groundbreaking mission," said Mills, Boeing JIMO vice president and program
manager. "I'm looking forward to further challenges as we chart the course
of space exploration in the 21st century."
Mills will be replaced as the Boeing ISS vice president and program manager
by John Elbon, who is the Boeing Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing
Services (CAPPS) manager at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mills is an internationally known expert in the nuclear safety field with
nearly 40 years experience in the aerospace industry. He received a bachelor
of science degree in engineering in 1967, a master of science in nuclear
engineering in 1969 and a doctorate in nuclear engineering in 1972, all from
the University of California, Los Angeles.
Prior to joining the ISS program, Mills spent 20 years in a variety of
project and program management positions with Atomics International, a part
of Boeing Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power. From 1987 through 1994, he served
as program manager to develop space nuclear power for key military and
Mills devoted his early career to nuclear power systems development. He also
specialized in the nuclear safety field of liquid metal fast breeder
reactors. He also published numerous papers on nuclear power systems and
nuclear power safety.
The JIMO Phase A contract is valued at $6 million, with a $5 million option
for further work, and runs through fall 2003. Led in this phase by Boeing
Phantom Works, the company's advanced R&D unit, the JIMO team will study
technology options for the reactor, power conversion, electric propulsion
and other subsystems of the JIMO spacecraft meant to explore the Jovian
moons of Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.
NASA currently plans to select an industry prime contractor in fall 2004 to
work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., to
develop, launch and operate the spacecraft.
Mills is responsible for successful execution of the Phase A trade and
concept design study, as well as securing the contract to develop, build and
support JPL in operation of the spacecraft. Mills leads the team from the
Boeing office in Pasadena, Calif.
Mills reports to Mike Mott, NASA Systems vice president and general manager
and Ron Prosser, vice president and general manager for Phantom Works
Integrated Defense Advanced Systems.