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Nalin Ratnayake (NASA)

Title: Deputy Project Manager
Technical Focus Area: Flight Projects
Mission/Project: CLARREO Pathfinder
Study Topics: Space Flight Project Management


Nalin A. Ratnayake started his career at NASA Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, where he worked as an Aerodynamicist and CFD specialist on the X-48B Blended Wing-Body, the Constellation program, and various flight research projects mounted under the F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture. After six years at Dryden, Nalin left NASA to fulfill a personal mission in education. For five years, he taught science and engineering full-time – as well as served as the Science Department Chair – at a high-needs, urban public high school in Boston. Returning to NASA in 2017 at Langley Research Center, Nalin worked on launch vehicle aerodynamics in the Configuration Aerodynamics Branch (D301) where he served as the LaRC SLS CFD Team Leader. He then spent a year in the Research Directorate office as the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) over the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) Cooperative Agreement, Task Order Contract, and Space Act Agreements. In 2021, he transferred to the Science Directorate to pursue a new opportunity to serve as Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder (CPF) mission. Nalin considers it a personal honor to be able to contribute in some way to our understanding of Earth’s changing climate.

Publication Bibliography:


  • M.Ed. Secondary Science Teaching, University of Massachusetts – Boston, 2013
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern California, 2011
  • B.S.E. Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, 2006


Running, camping, hiking, backpacking, travel, reading, and tabletop roleplaying games.

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