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Kathy Lueders to Lead NASA’s Human Spaceflight Office

By | June 15, 2020

Kathy Lueders. Photo: NASA

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Friday selected Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders to be the agency’s next associate administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate. Since 2014, Lueders has directed NASA’s efforts to send astronauts to space on private spacecraft, which culminated in the successful SpaceX Demo-2 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 30. Her predecessor, Doug Loverro, left just before the Demo-2 mission.

The appointment takes effect immediately. Steve Stich is named Commercial Crew Program Manager, and Ken Bowersox, who was serving as acting leader since Loverro’s departure, returns to his role as HEO deputy associate administrator.

Lueders began her NASA career in 1992 at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico where she was the Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System and Reaction Control Systems Depot manager. She later moved to the International Space Station (ISS) Program and served as transportation integration manager, where she led commercial cargo resupply services to the space station. She also was responsible for NASA oversight of international partner spacecraft visiting the space station, including the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle, and the Russian space agency Roscosmos’ Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. She went to Kennedy as acting Commercial Crew Program Manager in 2013 and was selected as the head of the office in 2014.

“Kathy gives us the extraordinary experience and passion we need to continue to move forward with Artemis and our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024,” said Bridenstine. “She has a deep interest in developing commercial markets in space, dating back to her initial work on the space shuttle program. From Commercial Cargo and now Commercial Crew, she has safely and successfully helped push to expand our nation’s industrial base. Kathy’s the right person to extend the space economy to the lunar vicinity and achieve the ambitious goals we’ve been given.”