Pilot, Backpacker, Writer

This is the personal website of Andy Foster.

I am a FAA Commercially-rated pilot with an instrument rating, ASEL; a Light Sport Flight Instructor; a Manned Spaceflight Safey Engineer; an ex-Astronaut Trainer, ex-F-14 Radar Intercept Officer (RIO); a backpacker whose been on two Mountain Lion research projects; and a Writer of technical articles, workbooks, and science fiction.

Andy Collage

About Me

I currently work part-time as a spaceflight safety engineer on the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) team supporting NASA’s Johnson Space Center Flight Safety Office. In this position, I perform independent assessment and safety products analysis and review of manned spaceflight programs and issues. For the first 10 years of my 27 (and still counting) years at NASA JSC, I was a Space Shuttle control/propulsion instructor training Space Shuttle astronaut crews and flight controller teams in the use and troubleshooting of Space Shuttle control/propulsion systems. During this time, I also qualified as an Ascent Specialist responsible for ascent, ascent abort, and contingency abort training of both astronaut crews and flight control teams. In this job, I trained shuttle astronaut crews how to manually fly nominal ascents, intact aborts, and contingency aborts. In During this job, I was awarded the prestigious Silver Snoopy and Manned Flight Awareness Awards at NASA, among others. I left NASA at the beginning of 1994 and but re-joined the Space Shuttle program three years later as a Space Shuttle flight operations safety engineer where I became the SAIC Shuttle Safety Flight Operations group and NASA Safety & Mission Assurance (S&MA) Lead for Shuttle Mission Engineering Room (MER) operations. Additionally, as a Shuttle Safety MER Console Operator and Shuttle MER Safety Console Ascent and Entry Specialist, I provided a GO/NO GO recommen40tion to the shuttle Mission Manageent Team and the MER Manager for the MER safety console during launch.

Prior to NASA, I served in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer/F-14A Radar Intercept Officer with US Navy Fighter Squadron VF-51 on board the USS Kitty Hawk and USS Carl Vinson, gaining over 1000 flight hours in the F-14A Tomcat and 302 "traps" during two cruises.

I have a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from Auburn University and hold FAA Commercial and Instrument pilot ratings as well as a cerificate for Llight sport Certified Flight Instructor (about 2000 hrs as a pilot as of 3/2018; 25 models of aircraft including one jet and two warbirds).

With my wife, Dr Connie Ayers, I am a co-founder of the ENHANSE (Educating Nurses via Hospital and Nursing Simulation Environments) Project which uses training approaches used by the Space Shuttle program to build and execute integrated simulations and is now moving into its commercial phase under the name of SCHOLAR.


Other Things

By nature, I am a "desert rat", loving all things of the Anerican Southwest. I have solo backpacked Big Bend, Canyonlands, and Arches National Parks where I first learned about mountain lions. I was fortunate enough to join two mountain lion research teams conducted by Dr John Laundre and hosted by Earthwatch.

My favorite authors are Edward Abbey, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Kurt Vonnegut, Harry Harrison, and Robert Heinlein.