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Space & Astronomy

NASA spaceflight boss unexpectedly resigns

By T.K. Randall
May 21, 2020 · Comment icon 17 comments

Loverro (left) hadn't been in the job long. Image Credit: NASA
Doug Loverro, head of NASA's human spaceflight program, has stepped down from his position.
The surprise move, which sparked a wave of rumors on social media, comes just days before the first manned launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on May 27th as well as a mere six months after Loverro took over from Bill Gerstenmaier to get humans on the Moon by 2024.

While his resignation is unlikely to impact the upcoming Crew Dragon launch, questions have been raised over exactly why he stepped down and whether he did so voluntarily or was pushed to do so.

According to reports, Loverro had made a serious error during the procurement process of the landing system that will enable humans to land on the Moon.
NASA previously picked several companies to develop their own lunar landing systems with the goal of eventually selecting one of these for the actual mission to land astronauts on the lunar surface.

According to Ars Technica, Loverro had favored an integrated launch solution (as oppose to building a lander in orbit around the Moon one piece at a time) and may have inappropriately pushed Boeing - which had favored an integrated launch solution - into making a more competitive bid to compete with the other contenders whose solutions would not likely be ready on time.

This, the news site argues, may have prompted his resignation if he had been found out.

Whether his stepping down will delay the program beyond its 2024 goal however remains unclear.

Source: Ars Technica | Comments (17)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Sad that's a bit messy for NASA to have a story like that... glad he's not there anymore if it's true.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
It doesn't seem that he was corrupt. His breaking of the rules wasn't becausehe was on the take. He had been given an almost impossible job. NASA is expected to be landing humans on the Moon again by 2024. A human rated lander has to be designed, built, tested and be operational in 4½ years, all without a massive hike in NASA's budget. NASA was working towards a 2028 landing when the administration shaved 4 years off that goal. His predecessor was removed because he was perceivedto be acting too slowly. Loverro was under pressure to achieve. He was brought in to this role specifically to act q... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Never say that he was corrupt, maybe he have done it on good will. But if the rules are broken and doubt are starting to fill the room, nothing can be done to clean the air... It's still messy for NASA.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
It's been messy for NASA since they demoted Loverro's predecessor, William Gerstenmaier (who then resigned from NASA). He was allegedly demoted for insisting on a test of the SLS first stage on safety grounds. This was seen as slowing Artemis down. They lost a highly respected and experienced man in Gerstenmaier. He had been doing the job for 14 years. The decision was then made to do the test anyway.  Loverro is a victim of the mess, not the architect of it.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Maybe, but that story still put NASA in the spotlight, and not in a positive way...  it's just messed up ... they need to work on their political problems a lot.
Comment icon #13 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 years ago
"Chief of human spaceflight " thats a hellish fancy title!  Unspoken directive within Nasa; his duties will be absorbed by the cleaning lady Olga who is overquialifiend for her position anyways... 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
What's fancy about it? What else would you call the person that is in charge of spaceflight involving humans?
Comment icon #15 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 years ago
Redundant Joe? 
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
Kathy Lueders named NASA chief of human spaceflight  
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 2 years ago
NASA official may face criminal investigation for contact with Boeing This does not bode well for keeping to the 2024 landing goal.  

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