William Little is a 33-year NASA Kennedy Space Center employee, having joined the nation’s space effort in April 1985. He began his NASA career in the Shuttle Engineering Directorate, doing firing room software validation and verification in support of Space Shuttle launch operations. He has spent time helping develop the computer-based ground processing system for the International Space Station Program, building automated control and monitor systems for the Advanced Life Support group, doing 3D modeling and simulation, and, most recently, heading up the KSC Augmented/Virtual Reality Lab.
The AVR Lab, begun in 2012, is dedicated to investigating the new Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality technologies that are coming onto the commercial market today. The lab’s goal is to understand how these technologies work, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and to recommend potential applications they may have to fulfilling KSC’s primary mission of processing spacecraft, launch vehicles, and associated ground support equipment in preparation for launch, as well as future applications to the efforts to return to the Moon and explore Mars.
Along with his duties as AVR Lab lead, Mr. Little is deeply involved in public and education outreach for NASA. He is the NASA KSC representative to the Central Florida STEM Education Council. The council is based out of UCF, and is dedicated to influencing STEM education curricula development in Central Florida K-12 schools, preparing and encouraging pre-college students to enter technical fields of study and to pursue employment in the Central Florida high tech workforce. He is also a frequent volunteer for NASA public outreach activities with the KSC Public Affairs office, participating in a number of local events such as the Orlando Science Center’s Otronicon, Dream Flight, and the MegaCon Science Fiction convention, where he demonstrates AR and VR technologies, and talks with members of the public about just how cool it is to work for NASA.
Mr. Little is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Letters from the University of South Florida, a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida, and a Master of Sciences degree in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Mr. Little’s outside interests include photography, painting, studying Aikido, woodworking, and SCUBA diving.