Danny Davis

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Danny Davis (born 1958) is the manager of NASA's Upper Stage Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. He is heading the team which is developing the upper stage of the Ares I rocket, planned to replace the space shuttle in 2014.

Davis grew up in Crestwood, working for his father, Joe Davis at the family-owned Mills Restaurant on 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn. He graduated Woodlawn High School in 1976 and attended Auburn University, first studying forest science before switching to mechanical engineering. While in school he married fellow Woodlawn graduate Susan Wambsganss, who also works at the Marshall center.

After graduating he took a job at NASA designing mission support equipment. He left briefly to work in the private sector from 1986 to 1989, but returned to work on the space shuttle's solid-fuel rockets. As a manager he has overseen early development of several projects that later lost funding, such as the experimental X-34, Fastrac, and RS-84 rockets and the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle program.

The Davises have two children, Katie, an HIV researcher at UAB and Ben, a recent graduate of Auburn's mechanical engineering program. Davis' hobby is building guitars and other woodworking projects.


  • Faulk, Kent (August 6, 2006) "City native works to send astronauts back to the moon." The Birmingham News