Shore Leave 41 Guest: Lindley Johnson

Lindley Johnson
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Lindley Johnson is NASA's Planetary Defense Officer and Program Executive of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).

Mr. Johnson graduated from the University of Kansas in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in astronomy and a commission from the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps. He served 23 years active duty in the Air Force, obtaining the rank of lieutenant colonel and numerous awards and decorations while working on national security space systems. He also earned a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Southern California. After coming to NASA in 2003, he served as Program Executive for NASA's Deep Impact mission. He was then Lead Program Executive for NASA's Discovery Program of mid-class planetary missions for eight years.

Mr. Johnson became Program Executive for NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Observations Program in 2003. Since then, efforts of the Program have discovered nearly 17,000 near-Earth asteroids, about 90 percent of the total known.

Mr. Johnson has received NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal. Asteroid 5905 (1989 CJ1) is named "Johnson" to recognize his efforts in detecting NEOs. Mr. Johnson is a private pilot and owns a Cessna Cardinal.