Long-serving Nasa boss demoted as Trump grows impatient over moon mission

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 13, 2019

NASA has shaken up it leadership ranks as the Trump administration pushes the agency to return to the moon.

To meet this "bold challenge", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an email to employees that Bill Gerstenmaier, head of the agency's Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) missions directorate, has been removed from his position and assigned an advisory role, the Washington Post and other USA news outlets.

NASA has replaced the head of its human space exploration directorate in a major shake-up, U.S. media reported on Wednesday, as the agency scrambles to meet President Donald Trump's ambitious deadline to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier and deputy associate administrator Bill Hill have been reassigned within the agency.

Gerstenmeir, or "Gerst" as he is called by peers, was known as a cautious and methodical leader who advocated for a full test of the Space Launch System, NASA's next moon rocket, when other leaders called for skipping the test to meet the deadline.

It also plans to do the same thing with Neil Armstrong's spacesuit in order to let the user examine what astronauts wore on the surface of the Moon.

"In an effort to meet this challenge, I have decided to make leadership changes to the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate".

He said that Ken Bowersox, a former astronaut, who had served as the deputy associate administrator for the human exploration office would take over in an acting capacity. "If NASA's not now capable of landing American astronauts on the moon in five years, we need to change the organization, not the mission". He'll now serve as a special adviser to Steve Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator.

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