Michael Irvine "Mini" Mott, 56, vice president and general manager of Boeing's NASA Systems, died of cancer Nov. 19 at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, his city of residence.
Mr. Mott, associate deputy administrator for NASA in Washington before joining Boeing in 1998, was responsible for the strategic direction of the company's civil space programs.
His colleagues at Boeing said he was an ardent supporter of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, safe space shuttles, full assembly of the international space station, a return to the moon and missions to Mars and other planets.
Mr. Mott was born in Nashville and graduated from Vanderbilt University. He earned a master's degree from the University of Southern California in 1981. An Eagle Scout, he received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Service.
He joined the Marine Corps in 1971, serving in a variety of operational and staff assignments throughout the United States and the Western Pacific. A graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School, he participated in 89 major test projects.
He was deputy director of the Technical Support Group for the deputy chief of naval operations (naval warfare) and director of the Aviation Development Tactics and Evaluation Department at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One.
He also commanded Marine Aircraft Group 41 at Andrews Air Force Base.
In 1991, Mr. Mott became director of new initiatives and concept development for the space division of General Research Corp. He then was named associate deputy administrator for NASA, where he provided management direction and technical coordination of agency programs and operational planning for the agency's aeronautical and space activities.
He lived in Alexandria until joining Boeing and moving to Houston.
Mr. Mott received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy Mott, and their two children, Michael Mott and Ashley Mott, all of Houston; his mother, Edith W. Mott of Nashville; and a brother.