NASA may name new HEOMD chief by next week

Loverro said recently he was working with Congress to get approval for the reorganization, but Jurczyk said today it now is on hold until the new HEOMD AA is on board. 

NASA may name new HEOMD chief by next week
NASA may name new HEOMD chief by next week

NASA may name new HEOMD chief by next week

NASA may announce a new chief to replace Doug Loverro as the head of the human spaceflight program within weeks, not months. on May 18, Loverro was asked to resign. He explained he made a mistake for which he alone should bear the consequences, but no other details were forthcoming.

He was in the midst of reorganizing HEOMD, which has broad responsibilities for the International Space Station (ISS) and its commercial crew and commercial cargo programs; efforts to commercialize other human spaceflight activities in low Earth orbit like building successors to the ISS; the Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and then go on to Mars; NASA’s ground and space communications networks; and other tasks.

Loverro said recently he was working with Congress to get approval for the reorganization, but Jurczyk said today it now is on hold until the new HEOMD AA is on board. The churn at the top of HEOMD adds to the challenges of meeting the Trump Administration’s directive to get “the first woman and the next man” on the surface of the Moon by 2024, the end of a second Trump term if he wins reelection in November. 

Although he was there for only five-and-a-half months, Loverro was making substantial changes in the architecture for getting back to the Moon especially with regard to the Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the Moon to support surface operations. Members of a HEOMD advisory committee recently characterized the 2024 goal as a “pipe dream” and the chances of meeting it “really, really remote.”  Four days later, Loverro was out and the program’s leadership was up in the air once again.