In a significant shakeup at NASA Headquarters, agency Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated Wednesday that Bill Gerstenmaier, the broadly revered director of human spaceflight, has been changed in the midst of a bold push to fulfill the Trump administration’s directive to send astronauts again to the moon inside five years.
Efficient instantly, Bridenstine wrote in a letter to company employees, Ken Bowersox, a five-flight shuttle veteran, space station astronaut and Gerstenmaier’s deputy, will take over on a performing basis whereas Gerstenmaier serves as “special advisor” to NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard.
A long-time NASA veteran, Hill helped handle the development of the agency’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, or SLS wanted to hold astronauts back to the moon.
Before this year, Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA was being led to accelerating plans to return back astronauts to the moon, moving the agency’s target date from 2028 to 2024. The revised moon program is called Artemis.
To satisfy the administration’s objective, NASA is counting on the large Boeing-built SLS rocket that shall be much more powerful than the legendary Saturn 5 boosters that powered the Apollo astronauts to the Moon.
However, the so-referred to as “green run” test would add five months or so to the rocket’s development schedule, prompting some managers to recommend sending the rocket on to Florida for a lot shorter, much less thorough hot firing atop launch pad 39B. NASA has not but introduced a call on the green run check.