Gary Barnhard Biography

gary barnhard biography portrait

Gary Barnhard

Director of Strategic Relationships
National Space Society Board of Directors

Gary Barnhard has served the National Space Society in numerous capacities. He has previously served as Executive Director, as Chairman of the Executive Committee, and as Vice President.

Gary Barnhard is the owner and president of Xtraordinary Innovative Space Partnerships, Inc. (XISP-Inc), a cislunar mission development company as well as Barnhard Associates, LLC (BALLC), a systems engineering consulting & Internet Service Provider ( business colocated in Cabin John, Maryland. He is a robotic, computer, and space systems engineer whose professional work includes a wide range of robotic, space, and computer systems engineering projects.

Over the last 45 years he has been extensively involved in the space advocacy community: as the co-founder and Executive Director of the Maryland Alliance for Space Colonization (MASC) which was one of the most successful chapters/affiliates of the L5 Society, as founder and Executive Director of the Space Development Foundation, as a frequent public speaker on space advocacy issues, as an organizer of space related educational programs and conferences, and as participant in many other space advocacy organization activities.

Mr. Barnhard received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) in 1982 combining Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science, with graduate work in science policy, solar physics, and artificial intelligence/knowledge based systems. He was awarded a grant to participate in NASA’s Graduate Student Researchers Program under the auspices of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the UMCP Aerospace Engineering Department. His work with the GSFC Advanced Missions Analysis Office included serving on the NASA Headquarters Space Station Mission Requirements Working Group Technology Development Missions Working Group. His work with the GSFC Mission and Data Operations Director included supporting the development of the Space Station User Information System Requirements. His thesis work on “the application of knowledge based systems to the domain of spacecraft systems engineering” was published by the UMCP Aerospace Engineering Department and was subsequently implemented as a research and development project at the NASA GSFC. He is a continuing scholar at the Kepler Space Institute.

Mr. Barnhard served as a Space Systems Engineer and Information Systems Architect for EER Systems, and as a Senior Space Systems Engineer on the Grumman Space Station Systems Engineering and Integration Contract (SSEIC) responsible for advanced automation and robotic systems support. He was the Executive Secretary of the Space Station Freedom Program Robotics Working Group and received a NASA Group Achievement Award for the Robotic Systems Integration Standards Interface Design Review Team, as well as an Outstanding Support Award from the Canadian Space Agency Space Station Freedom Program Liaison Office. Mr. Barnhard is a Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a Life Member of the National Space Society and has served as an At-Large member of the NSS Board of Directors from 2004-2008, and as the Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee/Chief Executive Officer from 2004-2010. He received the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award in 2004 and the NSS Award for Excellence in 2005 and 2008 for his efforts on the behalf of the Society.

Mr. Barnhard feels that the National Space Society can and must rise to the challenge of being architects, staunch advocates, and supporters of a reasoned evolution into a spacefaring society. By doing so, NSS can make a material difference in helping to provide for a positive future, a future we would all like to see come to pass. Let’s not wait for the future, let’s build it.