NASA’s acting administrator is retiring in April.
Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., who’s served within the place since January 2017, despatched out an agency-wide memo on Monday pronouncing his “bittersweet” resolution. It’s unclear who will exchange him.
“The grit and determination you all demonstrate every day in achieving our missions of discovery and exploration are simply awe inspiring,” he wrote. “I leave NASA blessed with a career full of memories of stunning missions, cherished friendships, and an incredible hope for what is yet to come.”
Lightfoot was once named acting administrator after Charles Bolden, a former astronaut and retired Marine Corps aviator, resigned on January 20, 2017 — following Trump’s inauguration. NASA’s deputy administrator, Dava Newman, additionally left NASA after Trump took place of work, which led to Lightfoot’s appointment.
Lightfoot joined NASA in 1989 as a take a look at engineer running at the area commute program. In the memo, he wrote that he would “work with the White House on a smooth transition to the new administrator.”
This is the longest NASA has long gone with out a everlasting administrator.
In September Trump nominated Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) as NASA administrator however the contentious nomination has but to be showed as many within the Senate disagree with a political candidate main the apolitical area firm.
During a affirmation listening to in November, Sen. Bill Nelson, of Florida, mentioned Bridenstine lacked the management talents to unite “scientists, engineers, commercial space interests, policymakers and the public.”
“Your recent public service career does not instill great confidence about your leadership skills or ability to bring people together,” Nelson mentioned. “In fact, your record and behavior in Congress is as divisive and extreme as any in Washington.”
Lighthouse didn’t give a reason why for his departure, most effective mentioning that he was once taking a look ahead to “more time with my family and closest friends, and cheering the NASA team on from the outside.”