Personnel News: February 2006 Archives

Sy Rubenstein Has Died

Biography, Return to Flight Task Group

Editor's note: According to an email from his family "At 2:15am on Sunday February 26, 2006 Seymour Rubenstein passed away peacefully. Sy was surrounded throughout the day on Saturday by close family members and friends."

Details follow below:

Editor's note: For many years, retiring at Ames often resulted in a special cartoon by Roger Arno - one which includes a fair likeness of the departing employee - plus intricate puns, pokes, and prods at that person and their career - the challenges they faced, and the successes they helped to achieve. Some of the puns are exceptionally insider in nature and riddled with acronyms. However, if you are in the know, they can be rather hilarious. Scott Hubbard did not manage to escape Rogers pen. Hubbard has accepted the Carl Sagan Chair at the SETI Institute and another position at Stanford University. Click on the image to enlarge - and be certain to cast your gaze to the door on the left hand side of the image.

Reader note: "Roger Mellott's services were held yesterday (Sunday Feb 12, 2006) at his home in Covington Louisiana. Tip Talone, Roselle Hanson, Cheryl McPhillips, and myself were in attendance from the Kennedy Space Center. Kent Rominger, the Chief, Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center presented Roger's wife Catherine a flag that was flow at half-staff over JSC in memory of Roger.

John Hillman Has Died

John Hillman; Astrophysicist and Flag Preserver (obituary), Washington Post

"John J. Hillman, 67, a NASA astrophysicist who did work on the atmospheres of planets, the composition of comets and the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner, died of ocular melanoma Feb. 12 at his home in Columbia."

Hubbard Career Update

Outgoing NASA Ames director to be Stanford scholar, SJ Mercury News

"Stanford University announced today that former NASA Ames Research Center Director G. Scott Hubbard has accepted a visiting scholar appointment in the university's electrical engineering department."

A Tragic Death

Crash kills cyclist on training ride, Houston Chronicle

"A 39-year-old NASA engineer was killed Saturday while leading members of the Pearland Cycling Club on a training ride for the MS 150 charity fundraiser. Aerospace engineer Tony Dao was involved in a collision with a Chevrolet Trailblazer while riding eastbound on County Road 190 near Alvin."

Editor's note: You can visit this site to make a donation to the Tony Dao Memorial Fund

JPL Personnel Update

Reader note: "In his "All Hands" meeting today, Dr. Elachi told us that the number of employees had declined from 5,400 to 4,975 as a result of the RIF. There was no mention of the contractor workforce numbers, or whether or not any contractors were included in the 4,975. He stated his intention to keep employment at approximately 5,000."

NASA Glenn to lose 300 jobs by the end of 2007, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Glenn's work force, packed with highly educated scientists and engineers, would slip to about 1,700 by the end of this year and to 1,562 by the end of 2007, NASA Glenn's new director Woodrow Whitlow said."

Ames faces more deep cuts, SJ Mercury News

"It was not clear what the cuts might mean in terms of jobs. Since 2004, the center has seen its budget drop from more than $800 million to $603 million, and its workforce shrink by nearly a third to 2,100."

Michoud's orders fewer, but enough to avoid cuts, Times Picayune

"NASA's spacecraft plant in eastern New Orleans will build 17 more fuel tanks for the space shuttle, fewer than half the number that had been planned prior to the Columbia shuttle accident -- but still enough to keep the factory's 2,000 workers busy for several more years."

Budget, job news better than last year's, Daily News

"NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, one of the region's major employers, will keep its work-force numbers steady despite agency plans to cut aeronautics research funding by 18 percent."

Budget plan allays anxiety at Langley, Virginian-Pilot

"Jobs should be stable. The center was able to trim its civil service work force by 300 over the past two years by offering buyout packages and early retirements. It also cut 300 contractors, she said. She is not planning for any layoffs in the next year, and the work force should hold steady at 3,600 2,000 civil service workers and 1,600 contractors."

Marshall spared cuts but money still tight, Huntsville Times

"This is a good budget for Marshall. This is a very stable budget and it provides for a very stable work force," King told reporters Monday. "It keeps in place our 2,600 civil servants."

ARC Transtion Update

Newsmakers, Science

"[NASA Administrator] Michael Griffin and I talked before the holidays and agreed that he should have the ability to pick a center director of his own choosing," says Hubbard, whose replacement at Ames will reportedly be astronomer and retired Air Force Brigadier General Simon P. Worden. Wesley Huntress, director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., says that Ames "blossomed" under Hubbard's 3-year directorship: "NASA loses a very good man."

NASA budget emphasizes space exploration, C|Net

"We believe Ames is healthy," Christensen said. "We have direction and momentum...but we're not out of the woods yet. "We've been restructuring our organization to try to align with missions out of NASA, but it's not simple because we have been a research center."

NASA ARC Internal Memo: Message from the Director - Transition

"Mr. Marvin "Chris" Christensen will be the Acting Center Director after I leave and has, in fact, begun the transition into this role. One of his first duties will be to lead the budget roll-out activities for Ames. Chris has been supporting me in a number of endeavors vital to the future of the center; he has the confidence of the Administrator, and I know he will lead you ably while the search for the new center director is conducted."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from February 2006.

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