Peerless Technologies Corporation is pleased to announce the hiring of James M. (Jim) Free to the Peerless Senior Leadership Team. Free will be the Vice President of a newly established Aerospace Systems Group (ASG), where he will be responsible for continuing to grow Peerless’ robust aerospace portfolio, including civilian and military space programs.

Most recently, Free served as the deputy associate administrator for technology in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. In this position, he was responsible for assisting the associate administrator in providing strategic direction for all aspects of NASA’s human spaceflight exploration mission. He provided cross-agency support functions of space communications and space launch vehicles including direction for the operation and use of the International Space Station, development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, direction for the commercial crew and cargo programs that provide logistics and crew transportation to the space station.

Free is also the former director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In that role, he was responsible for planning, organizing and directing the activities required to accomplish center missions pertaining to research, technology, and systems development programs in space propulsion, space power, space communications, aeronautical propulsion, microgravity sciences and materials.

Throughout his career, Free held a number of leadership positions within NASA and at several NASA centers. He began his career in 1990 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a propulsion engineer and system engineer on several spacecraft including in-house built systems. In 1999, he moved to the NASA GRC and was the International Space Station liaison for the Fluids and Combustion Facility. He also led the development of electric actuation technologies for NASA’s Next Generation Launch Technology Project and was the launch vehicle manager and autonomous rendezvous and docking manager for the Prometheus spacecraft. As director of Space Flight Systems at NASA GRC, he was responsible for overseeing the management of the center’s significant activities in the agency’s Constellation, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Space Communications, Human Research and Science Programs.

Free also supported the development of agency’s Orion spacecraft in various roles, including the Orion Test and Verification Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston. He also served as the Orion Service Module Manager overseeing the team designing the service module, which propels the Orion Crew Module. In addition, Free also served as Chief of Glenn’s Orion Projects Office responsible for all Orion-related work at the center.

Free is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Significant Achievement Medal and numerous other awards. A native of Northeast Ohio, Free holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics from Miami University (Oxford, OH) and a master’s degree in space systems engineering from Delft University (Netherlands).

“Jim Free is a nationally recognized leader who has built his career on solving some of the most critical and complex technical challenges facing the exploration of space,” said Michael Bridges, Peerless President. “Jim has done this as an effective leader bringing together world renowned expertise and teams of gifted scientists. Peerless is extraordinarily pleased to have Jim join Peerless and build on that success.”