WASHINGTON – A former space industry executive who joined NASA to lead their revised moon exploration strategy left the agency in just one and a half months.
In an internal memo, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that Mark Sirangelo had resigned as a special assistant to the administrator after a proposed reorganization of the agency had been rejected by Congress. HEOMD) and Space Mission Directorate. Bridenstine announced plans to found the direction in March when Vice President Mike Pence set the goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024, saying it would focus on formulating and conducting exploration development activities.
A memorandum of April 8 that Sirangelo, a former executive vice president of Space Systems of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, had joined the agency as a special assistant, with the "full responsibility, in all mission directives, of further developing the agency's plans to work for the exploration campaign ". Sirangelo was widely regarded as the likely choice to run this new mission directorate.
However, the Congress rejected the proposed reorganization, though Bridenstine did not address the reasons in his memo. Without the new direction, "we will move forward within our current organizational structure within the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate," he wrote. He added that the agency had reviewed possible changes in HEOMD "to ensure that efficiency is maximized" and to ensure the planned 2024 crew landing.
"As NASA no longer pursues the new Mission Directorate, Mark has decided to use other options," Bridenstine said in the memo.
There was skepticism both inside and outside the agency as to the need for a new mission directorate for the exploration plan. Within NASA, there was concern that a reorganization would disrupt the moon exploration efforts, slowing them down and not accelerating them.
The Congress had its own concerns about the creation of the new Mission Directorate, as was the case last year, when NASA proposed "The Committee reaffirms its support for the independence of the Space Mission Directorate", the report said. attached to the House version of a Trade and Judiciary Report and the Law on Scientific Expenses approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 22 May. "The Committee instructs NASA to maintain the directorate as a separate entity within the Agency and to continue to focus on comprehensive technology development goals that are independent of mission-specific needs. [1
Sirangelo appeared with several other NASA officials at a NASA Advisory Science Committee meeting on May 21 to discuss the agency's exploration plans. These comments were not about the status of the Moon to the Mars Mission Directorate. He noted that he had been working on "how realistic a plan could be to return to the moon by 2024," adding that the goal was "doubtless daunting."