NASA Executive Leaves The Agency After Being Appointed To Lead The 2024 Moon Mission

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According to the latest reports coming from Reuters, a top NASA executive who has been hired in April to lead the strategy for returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 has resigned.

Reuters writes that Mark Sirangelo who has been named six weeks ago as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine left the agency.

This happened after NASA abandoned a reorganization plan “due to a chilly reception on Capitol Hill,” Bridenstine said in a statement.

It was also reported that two people who are close to the space program and who are well aware of the situation said that Sirangelo has been escorted out of NASA’s headquarters in Washington after his resignation.

This departure followed the rejection by lawmakers of NASA’s proposal to create a separate directorate within the space agency in order to oversee future missions on the moon and eventually also develop a human exploration of the Red Planet.

“The proposal was not accepted at this time so that we will move forward under our current organizational structure,” Bridenstine said.

Pursuing other opportunities 

He continued and said that “Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities.”

NASA was aiming to return people to the lunar surface by 2028 after the space agency should have put a “Gateway” station into lunar orbit by 2024.

But it has been reported that more funding did not trigger too much enthusiasm from the Congress.

Bridenstine stated that NASA was still exploring the organizational changes that were “necessary to maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.”

“If the $1.6 billion does not materialize, we will fall back on the previous plan, which was to land in 2028,” he continued and told reporters.

The space agency revealed that they had contracted Maxar Technologuies Inc as the first contractor to help build the Gateway.


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