May 20, 2019
Over the last couple of months we have accomplished much together and it has been truly exciting. After having gone through an evaluation of our conversations and the future path you have outlined for NASA it is with regret that I believe that it is time for me to end my role as the Special Assistant to the Administrator.
I truly appreciate that you reached out to me earlier this year to join NASA in support of the developmental to return the U.S. to the Moon. It was such a challenging and amazing opportunity that it led me to halt all the other aspects of my life to join you and NASA. As NASA wished to expedite my entry, NASA offered, and I agreed upon the position of Special Assistant as an interim role. This role was to help develop the top-level technical path, budget and potential future management structures for the America’s Lunar 2024 challenge with the understanding that a further Agency level role might develop for me from this.
Subsequent to our completing two of these goals, the initial Moon 2024 technical path and President’s Budget amendment last week, the response back from Congress indicating their lack of support for establishing a new agency level Moon Mission Directorate was certainly disappointing. Following that, from our discussions, I understand that your decision is to not to implement any alternative Agency level reorganization and to retain the Agency structure, as is, with any future management changes to remain internal to HEO Directorate. From this I realize that that my planning role is complete and without a logical follow-on I would now like to focus on having a positive transition.
My notice today is for an end to my NASA employment on May 31, 2019. Due to complex nature of the efforts NASA is engaged in, I am open to discussing this situation further before that or to discussing a return to NASA in the future should the situation change. Meanwhile, I will start organizing a transition plan for the many things that I have work on and on list of outstanding activities. Please let me know who you would like me to work with on external messaging.
I have enjoyed our brief, but eventful, journey. I will be leaving with the positive knowledge that I have tried to do all that I could do in the time available to advance the Vice President’s mandate and that we have, together with our colleagues and in a notably short time, created a workable technical path back to Moon for the United States and a realistic budget to begin the funding of this effort.
Much is left to do and I wish you all the best for the future. I will continue to remain a strong supporter of NASA and of this historic endeavor. I sincerely hope that you continue to realize your own personal goals and that you and the NASA team are successful in bring America back to the Moon by 2024.
Mark N. Sirangelo
Special Assistant to the Administrator