NASA’s Johnson Space Center Gets a New Director

 

The Johnson Space Center at NASA is getting a new director. Ellen Ochoa currently heads this space center located in Houston, Texas. Ochoa will retire on May 25 this year. Ochoa has spent 30 years at NASA. 

The new director in the person of Mark Geyer currently holds an interim position at the NASA headquarters. The administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, announced his appointment on May 14th. Meyer will be in charge of over 10,000 employees and several facilities. 

Mark Geyer has worked at NASA for almost 30 years. According to Jim Bridenstine, he is the best candidate for the position because he has gathered a lot of experience while working his way up the ranks at the agency. 

Mark Geyer holds a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautics. He also has a masters degree in Aeronautics all from the Cradle of Astronauts, Purdue University. He assumed the position as the acting deputy associate administrator for Technical for the Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington on October 1, 2017. 

Meyer has held a leadership position at the Johnson Space Center before. He was the deputy director at the center before he assumed the position at the NASA Headquarters. 

The administrator also thanked the outgoing director Ochoa for her contribution towards the agency. Ochoa was an astronaut who set records during her career as an astronaut. Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman to into space. She made the trip on the 1993 STS-56 mission. 

She retired as an astronaut in 2007 and then she became the deputy director of the Johnson Space Center. She became the director of the center after serving as the deputy director for six years. 

This appointment is not the only appointment that the agency has seen recently. The top position; the NASA administrator position until recently had an acting administrator until Senate confirmed Jim Bridenstine.

NASA was without a permanent administrator for 15 months. That was the longest the agency had gone without a permanent administrator since its inception. Jim Bridenstine’s appointment faced a lot of criticism after his appointment.

Many people went against president Trump’s appointment because they argued that Bridenstine does not have a science background. He past comments on some heated issues played a role in the criticism. People grossly criticized him for calling the decision to legalize same-sex marriage a “disappointment.” 

Jim Bridenstine was sworn into office as the new administrator on April 23, 2018.