Science

NASA human spaceflight chief resigns ahead of ‘historic’ launch

Douglas Loverro at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA’s chief of human exploration has resigned just days before the first astronaut launch in nearly a decade from Kennedy Space Center. The space agency notified employees of the news Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Douglas Loverro at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA’s chief of human exploration has resigned just days before the first astronaut launch in nearly a decade from Kennedy Space Center. The space agency notified employees of the news Tuesday, May 19, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

NASA is scheduled to launch two astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

NASA's human spaceflight chief Doug Loverro has resigned, according to an internal memo seen by agency employees on Tuesday, just a week before the agency is scheduled to launch two astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

The resignation capped Loverro's brief role at the agency overseeing future astronaut launches and landing humans on the moon by 2024.

“Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Doug Loverro has resigned from his position effective Monday, May 18,” said the memo sent to employees on Tuesday and seen by Reuters.

It added that Ken Bowersox, NASA's deputy associate administrator and a former astronaut, would take Loverro's place until a permanent replacement is found.

A NASA spokesperson declined to comment.

In an email to colleagues seen by Reuters, Loverro said his departure was “because of my personal actions,” citing without more explanation “risks” he took to meet the agency's 2024 moon deadline.

“It is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences,” he wrote.

Loverro took the post last October to helm NASA's efforts to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024, a hastened time line set by the Trump administration in 2019.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:24:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/nasa-human-spaceflight-chief-resigns-ahead-of-historic-launch/article31628908.ece

Next Story