STMD Principal Technologist for Power & Energy Storage
Glenn Research Center
Background: Mr. Mason has been a power and propulsion technologist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center for almost 30 years. During his career, he has helped to develop advanced radioisotope power systems for deep space science, compact fission reactors for surface power and nuclear electric propulsion, high temperature solar arrays for near-sun missions, solar dynamic power systems for the space station, and high power Hall-effect thrusters for earth orbiting satellites.
Prior to his new assignment as the Principal Technologist for Power and Energy Storage, Mr. Mason was Chief of the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch in the Glenn Power Division. His branch was instrumental in maturing the high efficiency Stirling power convertors and the alkali-metal heat pipes that could revolutionize future space nuclear power systems.
He has written over 100 technical publications on space power and propulsion and generated several patent applications related to space nuclear power. Mr. Mason is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2006), the Rotary National Stellar Award (2010), R&D100 Award (2013) and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2014). He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University.
Advanced Power Systems
Advanced Space Power Systems (ASPS) will develop technologies and components to provide safe, reliable, and abundant power for deep-space human and robotic missions (and dual-use terrestrial applications), including low-cost solar arrays, advanced batteries, and regenerative fuel cells.
Nuclear Systems (NS) – Kilopower
The success of future exploration missions will rely on the availability of safe, readily available, and abundant power. Nuclear-based technologies have the potential to satisfy this need given the fact that they are independent of available solar energy and their performance will not diminish by environmental factors such as dust accumulation on solar panels or weakening in available solar power for outer planetary missions.