In a serious shakeup at NASA Headquarters, company Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated on Wednesday that Bill Gerstenmaier, the broadly respected director of human spaceflight, has been changed within the midst of an ambitious push to meet the Trump administration’s directive to send astronauts back to the moon within five years.
Effective suddenly, Bridenstine wrote in a letter to company workers, Ken Bowersox, a five-flight shuttle veteran, space station astronaut and Gerstenmaier’s deputy, will take over on an acting basis while Gerstenmaier serves as “special advisor” to NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard.
“As you already know, NASA has been given a daring challenge to place the first lady and the next guy on the Moon by 2024, with a deal with the last word goal of sending people to Mars,” Bridenstine wrote. “In an effort to meet this problem, I’ve determined to make management changes to the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate.”
Bill Hill, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development within HEO additionally has been changed. An extended-time NASA veteran, Hill helped manage the growth of the company’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, or SLS wanted to hold astronauts again to the moon.
“NASA has all the time been lucky to have nice talent that has served our nation properly,” Bridenstine wrote. “As we work to fill these key positions in the HEO, we’ll keep mission targeted, knowing that exploration will go ahead.”