Search and Rescue Team
Dr. Lisa Mazzuca, Mission Manager, NASA Search and Rescue Office
Dr. Lisa Mazzuca is the NASA Search and Rescue (SAR) mission manager. In that capacity she represents NASA both nationally and internationally to set policy and standards for the SAR community, as well as supply technological innovation and engineering expertise for satellite-aided emergency transmitters for air, land and sea conditions.
Mazzuca began her career at NASA in 1991 as a flight dynamics engineer, where she developed and coded mathematical specifications related to spacecraft orbit trajectories. She received a master’s degree in astrophysics from John’s Hopkins University in 1997, and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Maryland in 2006.
In 1998, Mazzuca joined the Hubble Space Telescope project to become its payload operations manager. In this capacity, she managed the operational healthiness of all instruments aboard Hubble, as well as overseeing the next generation of instruments being developed. In 2005, she accepted the position of operations integration and test manager for the telescope’s final servicing mission, where she guided the operations ground test program for the new and repaired instruments as well as the communications to Hubble via the Space Shuttle.
Dr. Mazzuca has received several awards over her tenure at NASA including the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2016, the Exceptional Service Medal, Silver Snoopy Astronaut Award and Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award in 2009, and the Goddard Space Flight Center Engineer of the Year in 2008.
Anthony W. Foster, Deputy Manager, NASA Search and Rescue Office
Anthony Foster is the NASA Search and Rescue (SAR) deputy manager. In that capacity he represents NASA both nationally and internationally to set policy and standards for the SAR community, as well as supply technological innovation and engineering expertise for satellite-aided emergency transmitters for air, land and sea conditions.
Foster began his career at NASA in 2001 as an operations engineer for Hitchhiker, a Space Shuttle small payloads program. Foster worked with the operations director team for three shuttle missions: STS-105, STS-108 and the final Hitchhiker mission on the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107). In 2003, Foster joined the Hubble Space Telescope project as a ground system and operations test engineer, focusing on preparations for Hubble Servicing Mission 4 (SM-4). In this role, he led the technical team responsible for ground system operational validation, communications testing, SM-4 readiness ground testing, and on-console support during the mission. In 2009, he received the Robert H. Goddard Award for Engineering and the Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award for his efforts on SM-4.
In 2010, Foster joined the Exploration and Space Communications Division as the integration and test manager for the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment project. In this role, he provided oversight of requirements development and early stages of integration and test planning by the acquisition contractor.
In 2012, Foster became the ground system and operations manager for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, where he managed the final stages of mission operations planning and ground system development through launch, commissioning and transition of the GPM observatory to operations in 2014. He has served the NASA SAR office since 2014.
Foster has a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and astrophysics from Indiana University, a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from University of Maryland, and an M.B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University.
Javier Lecha, Deputy Manager for National Affairs, NASA Search and Rescue Office
Javier Lecha is the NASA Search and Rescue (SAR) deputy manager for national affairs. In that capacity, Lecha fosters collaboration and cooperation between U.S. government agencies involved in search and rescue.
Lecha began his career at NASA in 1983, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. He also holds a master’s degree in control system engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Over more than 30 years of service to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Lecha supported a wide variety of missions including the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer, Landsat-5, Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) and many more.
Lecha has received numerous awards throughout his career, including exceptional achievement medals from NASA for his work on the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer and Landsat-5. Additionally, he worked on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), a satellite whose data enabled Dr. George Smoot at the University of California, Berkeley, to validate the big bang theory and share in winning the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics.
Lecha serves on Goddard’s Hispanic advisory committee, advocating for the recruitment, retention and advancement of Hispanic employees at NASA. He also sits on Goddard’s Standing Awards Committee, communicating awards, encouraging nominations and assuring consistency with awards policy and organizational values related to diversity.