Interagency Operations Liaison, Flight Operations Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center
William “Lark” Howorth is the interagency liaison for human spaceflight operations at the Johnson Space Center. In this role, he coordinates and executes operational support with other US government agencies to ensure safety for NASA astronauts and human spaceflight missions. These responsibilities encompass coordination of orbital debris conjunction assessment, topics involving space traffic management, and other operations requiring support to enable crew and vehicle safety.
Previously, Howorth helped establish, and then led, the International Space Station Trajectory Operations Office (TOPO), which integrates, analyzes, and plans flight dynamics operations for ISS and its visiting vehicles. His team was responsible for a wide range of solutions, including orbital maneuver planning to enable efficient rendezvous of crewed and cargo vehicles, and the development of policies for the safe deployments and jettisons of objects from ISS. He and his team also developed initial capabilities for probabilistic orbital debris collision risk assessments and operational responses, including human spaceflight risk thresholds and “safe haven” techniques to protect astronauts during late-notice conjunctions. Mr. Howorth then went on to lead the Flight Dynamics Office (FDO), the Mission Control Center discipline responsible for trajectory analysis and operations for other human spaceflight missions, such as Artemis and Boeing’s Starliner.
Howorth began his career executing and then leading the trajectory design and planning of several Air Force payloads flying on multiple Space Shuttle missions.
He graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.