NASA’s chief of human spaceflight resigns on cusp of critical crew launch ... participates in a town hall meeting with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Dec. 3, 2019. NASA is just beginning a new phase of human spaceflight, and losing its overseer for that effort casts doubt (whether founded or not) on its ability to follow through. NASA did not specify a reason for Loverro’s departure, which happened eight days before the first launch of U.S. astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center in nearly nine years. Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1. Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences.”., — Garrett Reisman (@astro_g_dogg) May 19, 2020. “Clearly, we’d love to go ahead and keep three on-board, but the budget will probably require that we go ahead and move to fewer contractors,” Loverro told Spaceflight Now last month. Bowersox filled the same role last year between Gerstenmaier’s reassignment and Loverro’s arrival at NASA. Ken Bowersox, Loverro’s deputy, will take over as acting chief of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Directorate. We need to keep competition going. The agency has revealed that its associate administrator for human exploration, Doug Loverro, has resigned as of May 18th — nine days before Crew Dragon’s first voyage with humans aboard. Loverro agreed that going forward with two contractors would allow the companies to remain in a competition, potentially driving down costs to NASA in the process. The head of NASA’s human exploration program, Doug Loverro, has resigned less than six months after assuming the position within the agency, according to a NASA memo. Loverro was to chair the Flight Readiness Review Thursday for the mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station on a test flight designated Demo-2, or DM-2. Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s associate administrator and and most senior career civil servant, will take Loverro’s place as chair of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 Flight Readiness Review, a NASA official said. The spacecraft safely landed in New Mexico two days after launch, but Boeing ground teams had to overcome another potentially catastrophic software miscue before re-entry. “I want to be clear that the fact that I am taking this step has nothing to do with your performance as an organization nor with the plans we have placed in motion to fulfill our mission,” Loverro wrote in a memo to staff. He had just been selected for the role in October. “The risks we take, whether technical, political, or personal, all have potential consequences if we judge them incorrectly,” he wrote. Douglas Loverro, the head of NASA’s human spaceflight office, just resigned after an unspecified scandal, Politico reports — a mere week before SpaceX is scheduled to launch NASA astronauts from American soil for the first time since 2011. In an all-hands letter to NASA employees, Loverro wrote that he is leaving the agency “because of his personal actions.”, He wrote that he “truly looked forward to living the next four-plus years with you as we returned Americans to the surface of the moon and prepared for the long journey beyond. xmlns:xsl=''">. Ken Bowersox, who filled the position temporarily when Gerstenmaier was demoted, will take over the role once again now that Loverro is gone. Doug Loverro had only been in the role for half a year. “Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences,” Loverro wrote. Bridenstine announced Loverro last October as the new associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. “The bottom line is that, as the committee that oversees NASA, we need answers,” Horn added. NASA's head of human spaceflight abruptly resigns, citing 'mistake' By Jackie Wattles, CNN Business 5/20/2020. Doug Loverro, NASA’s associate administrator for human space exploration, has resigned from NASA, according to a memo from the agency. “His leadership of HEO (Human Exploration and Operations) has moved us closer to accomplishing our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024. Last week, Loverro told the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations Committee that officials performing the Artemis program status assessment recommended down-selecting to two lunar lander contractors early in development. Loverro and his team conducted a major program status assessment earlier this year, recommending a reorganization of the human spaceflight directorate in order to meet the 2024 schedule for a crewed landing on the moon. He told the publication it was not due to a disagreement between him and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, but rather a "mistake.". Lawmakers are now racing to find out what really happened. Ars Technica heard it might stem from the lunar spacecraft bidding process that saw Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics win contracts. He commanded two space shuttle flights, and led the Expedition 6 crew on the International Space Station in 2002 and 2003. Ars Technica space journalist Eric Berger told Business Insider that the drama was more likely related to the nearly $1 billion worth of lunar-lander contracts that were recently announced. Contact Emre Kelly at or 321-242-3715. In the letter, Loverro told employees that he is not leaving NASA because of any performance issues within the human spaceflight workforce. Before Loverro, longtime NASA veteran William Gerstenmaier was in charge of human spaceflight operations until his ouster. By ... Loverro told Politico in an interview that his resignation was not due to disagreements with the administrator of NASA or concerns about the upcoming launch, a collaboration with the private exploration company SpaceX. Bowersox is a leadership veteran, including as commander on the International Space Station. It remains unclear whether or not his departure will have any impacts on the mission timeline. “Throughout my long government career of over four and a half decades I have always found it to be true that we are sometimes, as leaders, called on to take risks,” Loverro wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday. “And therefore, it is with a very, very heavy heart that I write to you today to let you know that I have resigned from NASA effective May 18th, 2020.”. In a statement issued Tuesday, NASA confirmed Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Doug Loverro resigned from his position on Monday. In a statement Tuesday, NASA said Loverro resigned from the agency effective Monday. Bridenstine is expected to take media questions Wednesday at the arrival of Hurley and Behnken at Kennedy to prepare for the final week before their launch on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Image right: Administrator O'Keefe joins Sen. John Glenn in February 2002 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Glenn's historic orbital flight. “Loverro hit the ground running this year and has made significant progress in his time at NASA,” Bridenstine said in a statement. His predecessor Bill Gerstenmaier, in contrast, led NASA’s human spaceflight division for almost 15 years. Bridenstine told Spaceflight Now in late April that he hoped NASA could keep all three companies in the mix. According to a Politico-obtained message Loverro sent to his team, "personal actions" were the force that drove the departure. That’s because there’s a difference between going fast and going sustainably, and a lot of these different companies have different solution sets for achieving each of those requirements.”. The shakeup comes just a week before Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launch from Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, a milestone set to fill the gap a lack of American-led human spaceflight has left behind. Loverro also managed NASA’s Artemis program, in which the agency aims to land humans on the south pole of the moon by the end of 2024. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule arrives at Kennedy Space Center pad 39A on Friday, May 15, 2020. And the timing is not sitting well with some, including Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) who is the chair of the House subcommittee that oversees NASA. His acting replacement: Ken Bowersox, currently the deputy HEO administrator, who is a former astronaut and retired Navy aviator. This shouldn’t affect NASA’s plans in the short term. "Bowersox has previously led HEO in a time of transition, and NASA has the right leadership in place to continue making progress on the Artemis and Commercial Crew programs," NASA said in a statement. This is the second time during the Trump administration that this role has been in turmoil. He told the publication it was not due to a disagreement between him and NASA Administrator … NASA’s head of human spaceflight resigns ahead of historic SpaceX launch, Apple’s AirPods Pro are $200 at Amazon and B&H Photo today, Plus, save up to $150 on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Apple’s AirPods Pro are back down to $200 at B&H Photo, If you want them at this price, here’s your chance (again), Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 is $250 off its original price at Best Buy, This fast, long-lasting gaming laptop is $1,200, Save on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and more this weekend, Samsung’s previous-generation flagship tablet is hundreds off Saturday only, You can get OnePlus Buds wireless earbuds for $59 at Amazon and B&H Photo, Sign up for the “Under this administration, we’ve seen a pattern of abrupt departures that have disrupted our nation’s efforts at human space flight.”. “The risks we take, whether technical, political, or personal, all have potential consequences if we judge them incorrectly. “Two is probably the least that we’ll get to. “I am deeply concerned over this sudden resignation, especially given its timing,” she said. He also spent several years at SpaceX. It’s a wild time for this kind of change, too, as Loverro has been effectively overseeing NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which has been developing new private vehicles to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

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