Goodbye, Gerst: Longtime Human Spaceflight Leader Removed From Post

William Gerstenmaier

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine shook up management of the space agency’s effort to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024 on Wednesday by removing long-time associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) William Gerstenmaier from a post he held for 15 years.

“Effective immediately, Ken Bowersox will serve as Acting Associate Administrator for HEO,” Bridenstine said in a memo. “Bowersox, who previously served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for HEO, is a retired U.S. Naval Aviator with more than two decades of experience at NASA. He is an accomplished astronaut and a veteran of five space shuttle missions and served as commander on the International Space Station.”


SpaceX Mission Assurance Official Leaves for Raytheon

Scott Henderson

Florida Today reports that Scott Henderson, SpaceX’s director of Mission Assurance and Integration, has left the company to take on a vice president role at Raytheon’s Integrated Information Systems Division.

“It is my understanding that he got an offer he couldn’t refuse,” said SpaceX spokeswoman Katherine Nelson. “While we certainly will miss his contributions to SpaceX, we absolutely wish him all the best.”

In addition to his mission assurance role, Henderson headed SpaceX’s external relations in Florida. In that role he was the company’s primary liaison between NASA, the Air Force and elected officials from the state.


Ex-SpaceX VP Bowersox on ATK’s Liberty Independent Assessment Team

U.S. astronaut Ken BowersoxFormer NASA Astronaut Ken Bowersox, who quit as SpaceX’s vice-president of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance late last year, is now advising ATK on how to human-rate its Liberty rocket.

SALT LAKE CITY, July 2, 2012 (ATK PR) — ATK and the Liberty program announced an independent assessment team and their first tasking to advise the company on development of its commercial human certification plan for the Liberty system, which includes the launch vehicle, upper stage, abort system, composite spacecraft, ground and mission operations, crew and passenger training and a test flight crew.

The FAA is authorized by Congress to regulate commercial human spaceflight. Over the next few years, the FAA will use a phased approach to regulating the crew and passenger safety of the emerging commercial human spaceflight industry. In the meantime, and in the absence of specific government human certification standards, the developers themselves must look to NASA and International Partner human spaceflight best practices and lessons learned to develop their own design and operations criteria. Developing the Liberty-specific commercial human certification plan early in the program ensures the system will be designed from the outset to ensure flight crew and passenger safety.


Astronaut Safety VP Bowersox Quits SpaceX

U.S. astronaut Ken BowersoxSpace News is reporting that former astronaut Ken Bowersox quit as SpaceX’s vice president of astronaut safety and mission assurance. No reason has been given for the decision.

Bowersox joined SpaceX in June 2009 after a successful career at NASA. The space agency selected him as an astronaut in 1987. He flew the space shuttle five times as a mission specialist, pilot and commander. Bowersox served as Expedition 6 mission commander for the International Space Station and has logged 211 days in space.

“Ken Bowersox is a critical asset to the SpaceX team, as we prepare for crewed missions aboard our Dragon spacecraft,” said Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of SpaceX, said at the time Bowersox was hired. “His experience in the U.S. astronaut corps, and aboard the International Space Station, will be invaluable in shaping the future of commercial manned spaceflight.”


Former Astronaut Ken Bowersox Joins SpaceX



Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces Ken Bowersox as vice president of the newly formed Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance Department. He will be co-located in Houston, Texas, and SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Bowersox joins SpaceX with over 19 years of experience at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Selected to the astronaut corps in 1987, he has flown five times on NASA’s Space Shuttle, serving as pilot, commander and mission specialist, and once on a Russian Soyuz, where he served as the flight engineer during descent.