In a major shakeup at NASA Headquarters, agency Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday that Bill Gerstenmaier, the widely respected director of human spaceflight, has been replaced in the midst of an ambitious push to meet the Trump administration's directive to send astronauts back to the moon within five years.
Google would also avail the related feature later this month where you'd be able to try on Neil Armstrong's spacesuit along with analyzing what astronauts wore on the moon surface. William Gerstenmaier, head of the agency's human exploration office, was suddenly demoted on Wednesday. "In an effort to meet this problem, I've determined to make management 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. Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator of human exploration, has also been reassigned as a special adviser to Steve Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator. Effectively, NASA's first and second in command of humans in space have been replaced at the same time.
In an email to employees obtained by The Washington Post, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Gerstenmaier would become a special assistant to Jim Morhard, the deputy administrator.
The White House has shown frustration with the pace of NASA's efforts, especially with its premier workhorse rocket known as the Space Launch System, which is years behind schedule and plagued with cost overruns.
However, it is consistent with the restructuring Pence alluded to during the fifth meeting of the NSC back in March.
In a March speech, he took aim at NASA's bureaucracy, saying the agency "must transform itself into a leaner, more accountable and more agile organization".
As NASA is facing more and more pressure from the higher-ups in the state to speed up the process of sending humans on the moon, it decided that a few changes in administration might be a good thing to accomplish the objective. He was there supervising the operations on the International Space Station.
At the same time, NASA is now attempting to gain the confidence of the Congress regarding the Artemis program. We are building for the long term, and this time are going to the Moon to stay.
Other indications of an internal shake-up include the resignation of Mark Sirangelo, a special assistant to Bridenstine who was appointed to oversee the agency's structural changes. The White House recently requested an additional $1.6 billion for NASA to help jumpstart the Artemis program next year, on top of the $21 billion the administration already requested for the agency.
"We, as a nation, are thankful for his service in advancing America's priorities and expanding the limits of science, technology, and exploration", wrote Bridenstine in the memo.