Chief Scientist for Orbital Reef
Tara Ruttley, PhD is currently Blue Origin’s chief scientist for Orbital Reef, a future commercial space station in Low Earth Orbit. Before she joined Blue Origin, she spent her career managing engineering and science plans for the International Space Station (ISS) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). From 2018-2022 she was NASA’s Associate Chief Scientist for Exploration and Applied Research at NASA Headquarters (HQ) in the Office of the Chief Scientist, where she represented the human, biological, and physical sciences performed on the ISS and planned Artemis lunar missions. Prior to HQ, Tara was Associate Chief Scientist for ISS at the Johnson Space Center, where she spent a decade managing, evaluating, and communicating ISS science activities from the period of “ISS assembly complete” through the booming “utilization period” where ISS science goals were maximized. Tara received her BS degree in Biology and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Tara also earned a MA degree in Anthropology-Archaeology from the University of Houston.