Personnel News: March 2009 Archives

Massive Layoffs Ahead?

U.S. contractors face layoffs unless NASA moves faster, Reuters

"U.S. contractors involved in human spaceflight will have to lay off up to 10,000 workers unless NASA accelerates orders for a new lunar lander and the space shuttle replacement program, a senior Boeing Co official said on Tuesday. The five-year gap between the end of the space shuttle program in 2010 and the follow-on Constellation program's first flight in 2015 is a challenge for the companies involved, Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration, told reporters at a space conference."

Settling In at MSFC

Lightfoot to get long Marshall interim term, Huntsville Times

"I'd say Robert Lightfoot should probably be getting comfortable in his role as acting Marshall director," said Keith Cowing, who runs the space agency watchdog Web site "A center director position is generally appointed, with input from Congress, by the NASA administrator, but being that there is no permanent NASA administrator, this is a sort of unique time. "Even if a person was named to take over Marshall it could be months before that nominee is approved. Lightfoot is in charge for some time."

King Retires as Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

"David King, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is retiring from the agency to accept a position as executive vice president of Dynetics in Huntsville, effective immediately."

NASA MSFC Internal Memo: Message From the Center Director

"We have built a great team, and I am leaving the Center in great hands as Robert Lightfoot assumes the position of acting Center Director."

In a shakeup at Marshall Space Flight Center, Director Dave King resigns to become an executive vice president at Dynetics

"Critics have decried the Ares development as being behind schedule and over budget, but King has said in the past "any new program as complex as a new rocket design is going to run into problems and delays. If we knew how to do it then we wouldn't be developing Ares - we would be flying it," King told The Times."

Editor's note: According to MSFC sources, one of Dave King's last acts was to remove Jim Reuter from his position as Ares 1 Vehicle Integration Manager. Hmm ... doesn't this strike anyone else (besides me) as being a little odd? Why did King wait until his last day on the job to do this? Did the rationale to make this management decision only emerge yesterday? Or was King unwilling/unable to do this while still on the job?

Mario Humberto Acua

Mario Humberto Acua, Washington Post

"Mario Humberto Acua, 68, a NASA astrophysicist whose scientific instruments have flown on more than 30 NASA missions to every planet in the solar system, including the sun, died March 5 of multiple myeloma at his home in Bowie."

Former NASA official accused of steering funds to consulting client, CNN

"Courtney Stadd, 54, a former NASA chief of staff and White House liaison, is facing charges of making false statements and committing acts affecting a personal financial interest. When Stadd left NASA, he founded a management consulting firm called Capitol Solutions that specialized in providing services for clients in aerospace-related industries. One of those clients was Mississippi State University's GeoResources Institute. According to the indictment, in 2005, Stadd helped steer NASA funds from an earth science appropriation to his client."

Former NASA Official Charged in Scheme to Steer "Earmarked" NASA Funds to Consulting Client

"An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty."

Text of full indictment

Editor's note: Let me reiterate: "An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty."

"Presumed innocent" is the operative concept.

Editor's update: Courtney Stadd has posted a comment.

Kennedy Space Center might lose thousands of jobs to Huntsville, Orlando Sentinel

"Aerospace-industry leaders plan to tell Florida legislators today that unless some miracle takes place to breathe new life into the space business at Cape Canaveral, the state's most skilled workers will almost certainly be leaving in droves to take jobs in Alabama. Thousands of top engineers are needed by 2011 at the Missile Defense Agency, an arm of the Pentagon in charge of developing an integrated U.S. missile-defense system for the country. The agency is moving its operations from its current home in northern Virginia to Huntsville, Ala. Already NASA's shuttle contractor, United Space Alliance, is negotiating with the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce to find work for many space-shuttle engineers when the shuttle program ends 18 months from now."

Editor's note: According to an internal NASA memo dated 27 Feb 2009, Richard Gilbrech has been named to the position of Associate Director of Stennis Space Center.

Editor's note: NASA LaRC and GSFC are closed today due to the snow received over night. NASA HQ opened several hours late OPM advisory for Washington DC.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from March 2009.

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