NASA’s Leadership Changes To Keep The 202nd Moon Mission On Track

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A few days ago, NASA reassigned William Gerstenmaier from his 14-year position as an Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate to the new location as exclusive advisor to NASA’s deputy administrator. It is worth mentioning that Gerstenmaier has been with NASA for 42 years. Ken Bowersox received William Gerstenmaier’s position. Bill Hill was the other relevant Associate Administrator for exploration systems development that was reassigned to a particular advisor position.

Just yesterday, NASA decided to answer everyone’s questions on the matter. Jim Bridenstine, one of NASA’s Administrators, was interviewed by reporters from two newspapers, SpaceNews and The Washington Post. The interview was intended for C-Span’s ‘Newsmakers’ program. Jim Bridenstine’s answer to the question “Why the reassignments?” was that there were issues to be addressed about costs and schedule of the planned 2024 lunar mission. This mission entails the deployment of the first woman and the next man to the moon.

Subsequently, NASA decided that the best way to comply with the 2024 deadline for the mission was to transfer two eminent and admired persons who were essential parts of the human space exploration missions to lower positions in the agency.

NASA’s Leadership Changes To Keep The 202nd Moon Mission On Track

According to Jim Bridenstine, “We’re moving to a new era in human spaceflight where the administration is interested in going fast, we’re interested in doing things differently, and I believed it was important to have new leadership at the top of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.” Bridenstine also added that he needs three people to create a top team in NASA. One he had already found in the person of Ken Bowersox.

Bowersox is supposed to find another two people, one to supervise the Space Launch System and Orion and the other to supervise Gateway and lunar landers. The three deputies would settle the issues in regards to cost and schedule issues of some NASA programs.

NASA also needs other 20-30 billion dollars to fund the Artemis program further, but only $1.6 billion for the lunar landers and SLS in 2020. They have to have the approval of the Congress to receive these funds. They would stand a chance concerning the funds if they concluded partnerships with private companies. Jim Bridenstine also commented about SpaceX and Boeing’s difficulty to send astronauts to space by the end of the year due to delays.


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