STORY WRITTEN FORCBS NEWS& USED WITH PERMISSION
Douglas Loverro, a veteran manager with broad experience in national security space operations, has been selected by NASA to lead the agencys human space flight programs. He takes over at a critical moment as the agency assesses the readiness of new commercial crew ships amid a full-court press to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.
Loverro is a respected strategic leader in both civilian and defense programs, overseeing the development and implementation of highly complicated systems, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
He is known for his strong, bipartisan work, and his experience with large programs will be of great benefit to NASA at this critical time in our final development of human spaceflight systems for both Commercial Crew and Artemis.
Artemis is the name of NASAs second-generation moon program, an accelerated Trump administration initiative to send astronauts back to the moon four years earlier than NASA originally had planned.
Bridenstine announced Loverros appointment three months after dismissing long-time associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier, a widely respected NASA engineer with decades of human spaceflight experience, in a major management shakeup intended to spark a fresh approach to running the agencys most complex and expensive programs.
Former astronaut Ken Bowersox served as acting associate administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate after Gerstenmaiers departure. He now will resume is previous role as deputy associate administrator.
Its an interesting appointment, John Logsdon, a noted author and space historian, said of Loverro. Hes a good guy, very accessible, very easy to get along with. In his earlier life, he managed big procurement projects and has a reputation as a good manager.
More recently, Logsdon said, Loverro dealt with the White House, Congress and international partners on security space issues. I think hes well fitted to negotiate the relationships in exploration going forward.
Loverro holds a masters degree in physics from the University of New Mexico, a masters in political science from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of West Florida. He spent three decades working with the Department of Defense and the secretive National Reconnaissance Office.
He retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2006 after selection as a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service.
As chief of NASAs Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at agency Headquarters, Loverro will be taking over top-level management of the International Space Station, the Commercial Crew Program and the Artemis project.
Boeing and SpaceX, working under NASA contracts to commercially develop new space capsules to ferry astronauts to and from the space station, are struggling to ready their ships for initial piloted test flights in the wake of budget shortfalls and technical issues.
Both companies now plan to launch astronaut crews on those long-awaited test flights early next year to pave the way toward operational crew rotation missions that will end NASAs sole reliance on Russias Soyuz spacecraft for ferrying astronauts to and from the station.
Even so, NASA likely will be forced to buy additional Soyuz seats to ensure a continuous U.S. presence aboard the lab complex if significant additional delays are encountered. As it now stands, the final NASA-contracted seat aboard a Soyuz will be used in April.
Its not yet known when the first piloted Commercial Crew mission will take off, but Loverro will play a major role in assessing NASA requirements and launch targets as testing proceeds.
His biggest challenge will be overseeing the Artemis moon program in the midst of political wrangling over how much the project might cost and resolution of major technical challenges, from work to ready NASAs huge new Space Launch System SLS booster for flight to development of a commercially procured lunar lander.
NASA originally hoped to send astronauts back to the moon in 2028, but the Trump administration reset the agenda and ordered NASA to move that up four years for a landing in 2024. The administration requested $1.6 billion in supplemental funding for the agencys 2020 budget request to kick-start development of key systems, including a moon lander.
During a hearing Wednesday of the House appropriations subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, chairman Jos Serrano repeatedly pressed Bridenstine for an Artemis cost estimate beyond 2020.
I remain extremely concerned about the additional costs to accelerate the mission to the moon by four years, he said in opening remarks. Some experts have said the additional financial resources needed to meet the administrations imposed 2024 deadline could exceed $25 billion over the next five years compared to the original 2028 schedule.
To date, NASA has not provided the committee with a full cost estimate despite repeated requests. At a time of huge financial needs across numerous government programs, all competing for funding within the budget caps, an additional $25 billion cost would severely impact vital programs.
Bridenstine said later that NASA is working to refine schedules and cost estimates and will include projected costs for Artemis in the agencys next budget proposal.
We are working with the Office of Management and Budget and the National Space Council to come up with an administration consensus for what the total cost will be, and we will submit that in February, he said.
NASA is relying on the huge Boeing-built SLS rocket to propel Artemis astronauts back to the moon aboard Orion capsules built by Lockheed Martin. The SLS is years behind schedule and is not expected to make its initial unpiloted test flight until 2021.
Assuming the rocket makes it through development and flight tests, current plans call for an astronaut crew to dock with a mini space station Gateway in lunar orbit in 2024 before descending to the surface in a commercially developed lander.
Managing how that program will play out in Congress and in space will be at the top of Loverros agenda.
Its really a management challenge, Logsdon said. Theres a flip side to his not having a background in human spaceflight, that is, he doesnt have background in human spaceflight with all the culture that comes with that. He can take a fresh look.
Read this article:
- Successful launch continues deployment of SpaceX's Starlink network - Spaceflight Now - November 11th, 2019
- What it takes to be a space pilot - Astronomy Magazine - November 11th, 2019
- Spaceflight alters heart cells but they quickly recover back on Earth - New Scientist News - November 11th, 2019
- 4 Things to Know About New Space Company Virgin Galactic - Motley Fool - November 11th, 2019
- Mercury is making a rare 'transit' across the sun. Here's how to watch. - NBCNews.com - November 11th, 2019
- Japanese 'Shooting-Star' Satellite to Launch on Landmark Rocket Lab Flight This Month - Space.com - November 11th, 2019
- The Importance of Spacecraft Abort Tests - Forbes - November 11th, 2019
- Buy Virgin Galactic stock because space tourism will be safer than you think, analyst says - CNBC - November 11th, 2019
- New bill aims to grow South Mississippis space industry - WLOX - November 11th, 2019
- Now in space, a cutting-edge satellite the size of a shoebox, and UW students built it - Seattle Times - November 11th, 2019
- Human Heart Cells Transform in Space; Return to Normal on Earth: Study - The Weather Channel - November 11th, 2019
- NASA Marshall expands ties with UA to advance in-space manufacturing - Made In Alabama - November 11th, 2019
- Can We Genetically Engineer Humans to Survive Missions to Mars? - Space.com - November 11th, 2019
- NASA's SOFIA Observatory: The Flying Telescope - Space.com - November 11th, 2019
- Massive Space Explosion Releases as Much Energy in 20 Seconds as Sun Does in 10 Days - The Weather Channel - November 11th, 2019
- Airstream Enjoys Return to U.S. Space Program in Partnership with Boeing - Chief Executive Group - November 11th, 2019
- Yes, the 'Von Braun' Space Hotel Idea Is Wild. But Could We Build It by 2025? - Space.com - November 11th, 2019
- Record-Setting X-Ray Burst From Massive Thermonuclear Blast Detected From Space Station - SciTechDaily - November 11th, 2019
- Student Networks with Astronauts, Space Experts at International Meeting - Tennessee Today - November 11th, 2019
- 'Star Trek,' Space Travel and Teleportation with Tig Notaro - Space.com - November 11th, 2019
- Space station receives spacewalking gear, new baking oven - Spaceflight Now - November 6th, 2019
- Buy Virgin Galactic stock because space tourism will be safer than you think, analyst says - CNBC - November 6th, 2019
- A Journey to Mars Starts on the Space Station - Space.com - November 6th, 2019
- Historic space flight artifacts donated by legendary cosmonaut displayed at space museum in Weatherford - KFOR Oklahoma City - November 6th, 2019
- Virgin Galactic: From Space To The Stock Market - Forbes - November 6th, 2019
- Virgin Galactic's high-risk space adventure will likely pay off - Space Daily - November 6th, 2019
- 'Star Trek,' Space Travel and Teleportation with Tig Notaro - Space.com - November 6th, 2019
- Yes, the 'Von Braun' Space Hotel Idea Is Wild. But Could We Build It by 2025? - Space.com - November 6th, 2019
- SAIC and Sinequa Align to Deliver an Intelligent Search Experience to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center SAIC and Sinequa Align to Deliver an... - November 6th, 2019
- Mars Society Founder Makes Case for 'Mars Direct' Path to the Red Planet - Space.com - November 6th, 2019
- Are there any realistic spaceflight technologies from Star Wars? - MIT Technology Review - November 6th, 2019
- Virgin Galactic Stock Finds Its First Fan on Wall Street - Motley Fool - November 6th, 2019
- NASA's Voyager Spacecraft May Have 5 Years Left to Explore Interstellar Space - Space.com - November 6th, 2019
- The White House puts a price on the SLS rocketand it's a lot - Ars Technica - November 6th, 2019
- NASA Has a New Method For Cooling Down Electronics Crammed Together in a Spacecraft - Universe Today - November 6th, 2019
- Bezos says space industry stalwarts will help Blue Origin build moon lander - Spaceflight Now - October 24th, 2019
- Army astronaut to military medical students: You will solve the health issues of extended space flight - ArmyTimes.com - October 24th, 2019
- Virgin Galactic is set to trade on the NYSE on Monday as the first space tourism stock - CNBC - October 24th, 2019
- Now You Can Buy The Worlds First Spaceship Stock - Forbes - October 24th, 2019
- Rocket Lab Aims for the Moon and Beyond with New Photon Satellite Platform - Space.com - October 24th, 2019
- Here's What China's Yutu 2 Rover Found on the Far Side of the Moon (Photos) - Space.com - October 24th, 2019
- China Releases a New Photo of The Mystery Substance They Found on The Moon - ScienceAlert - October 24th, 2019
- DLR pursues international cooperation and future technologies for spaceflight - Space Daily - October 24th, 2019
- Finally, a Clear Look at the Weird Substance China Found on the Moon - VICE - October 24th, 2019
- Suborbital spacefliers will get pinned by the Association of Space Explorers - GeekWire - October 24th, 2019
- The space powers have gathered. Wheres China? - Quartz - October 24th, 2019
- NASA Needs to Get With the Times When It Comes to Planetary Protection, Report Finds - Space.com - October 24th, 2019
- Live coverage: Rocket Lab set for fifth Electron launch of the year - Spaceflight Now - October 16th, 2019
- These are the Under Armour-designed suits for Virgin Galactics space tourists - TechCrunch - October 16th, 2019
- NASA's 1st SLS Megarocket Launch to the Moon Could Be Delayed to 2021 - Space.com - October 16th, 2019
- NASA Chief: First SpaceX (or Boeing) Crewed Space Mission Is Less Than 5 Months Away - Observer - October 16th, 2019
- Boeing Aims to Launch Unpiloted Starliner Test Flight to Space Station in December - Space.com - October 16th, 2019
- Moon VIPER: NASA Wants to Send a Water-Sniffing Rover to the Lunar South Pole in 2022 - Space.com - October 16th, 2019
- Dream Chaser Space Plane Begins Full Assembly Ahead Of First NASA Mission In 2021 - Forbes - October 16th, 2019
- 11 of the biggest innovations shaping the future of spaceflight today - Business Insider - October 16th, 2019
- SpaceX news: Elon Musk is the Thomas Edison of the 21st century, claims veteran astronaut - Express.co.uk - October 16th, 2019
- This is the 1st Photo of China's Mars Explorer Launching in 2020 - Space.com - October 16th, 2019
- ISRO's Space Shuttle-like Reusable Launch Vehicle will attempt its first landing in Karnataka - Firstpost - October 16th, 2019
- NASA scientist creates engine concept that can reach 'close to the speed of light' - Fox News - October 16th, 2019
- Space Innovations So Incredible, They Just Might Work - The Planetary Society - October 16th, 2019
- Elon Musk wants to move fast with SpaceX's Starship - Spaceflight Now - October 1st, 2019
- Photos: SpaceX's first full-size Starship prototype Spaceflight Now - Spaceflight Now - October 1st, 2019
- HTV delivers batteries and experiments to space station - Spaceflight Now - October 1st, 2019
- Today's the Last Chance to Send Your Name to Mars on NASA's 2020 Rover - Space.com - October 1st, 2019
- LRO's view of Chandrayaan 2 landing site obscured by shadows - Spaceflight Now - October 1st, 2019
- Fresh batteries, experiments on the way to the International Space Station - Spaceflight Now - October 1st, 2019
- NASA's 61st birthday: 15 best spacewalk photos, space selfies and other incredible moments in spaceflight - Firstpost - October 1st, 2019
- Ad Astra predicts the future of commercial space flight, and it's a $125 blanket - SYFY WIRE - October 1st, 2019
- A Gadfly's Perspective on Human Spaceflight - The Wire - October 1st, 2019
- 321 Launch: The space news you might have missed - Florida Today - October 1st, 2019
- He almost died near Lenox. Now he wants to find the duo who saved him. - WSB Atlanta - October 1st, 2019
- Meir's journey to space will inspire other Mainers to take flight - Bangor Daily News - October 1st, 2019
- Rocket Lab crows about launch, SpaceX zipwires, and a monster mock-up arrives at Kennedy - The Register - October 1st, 2019
- Sharing a storied career of space flight | News | avpress.com - Antelope Valley Press - September 19th, 2019
- Is the Overhead Space Above Your Plane Seat Yours to Claim? - Lifehacker - September 19th, 2019
- Watch SpaceX's Crew Dragon Fire Its Abort Engines in Amazing Video Compilation - Space.com - September 19th, 2019
- Bigelow's B330 - an autonomous, expandable independent exploration space station - NASASpaceflight.com - September 19th, 2019
- NASA, SpaceX Coverage of 1st Crew Dragon Test Flight Wins Emmy - Space.com - September 19th, 2019
- China's Lunar Rover Scopes Out Weird Substance on Far Side of the Moon (Photos) - Space.com - September 19th, 2019
- If It Works, This Will Be the First Rocket Launched From Mars - Air & Space Magazine - September 19th, 2019