Personnel News: August 2020 Archives

NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator - Aug. 31, 2020

"ANNOUNCEMENT: These difficult times can be especially trying for those with children at home or other dependent/caregiver responsibilities. As we head into the fall, and more schools opt to conduct classes virtually, I am pleased to announce that the agency is able to continue offering excused leave through March 2021. Supervisors should approve all requests, to the extent possible, and work with employees to ensure all available leave options and schedule flexibilities are considered."

Jerry Carr

Family Statement Regarding the Passing of Col. Gerald P "Jerry" Carr, USMC Ret.

"Throughout his life and career, Jerry Carr was the epitome of an officer and a gentleman. He loved his family, he loved his country and he loved to fly. We are all enormously proud of his legacy as a true space pioneer and of the lasting impact of his historic mission aboard America's first space station. We will remember him most as a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. We will miss him greatly. - The Carr & Musick Families"

Jakob van Zyl

Michael Watkins: "I write with great sadness to let you know that Jakob van Zyl, our former Director for Solar System Exploration and Associate Director for Project Formulation and Strategy, passed away this morning following a heart attack Monday.

Jakob served the Lab for 33 distinguished years, culminating in his leadership of the Solar System Exploration Directorate through the successful operations of celebrated missions such as Juno, Dawn, Cassini, and the implementation of InSight and MARCO, along with ongoing development of Europa Clipper, Psyche, and all JPL instruments and the Mars Helicopter for Mars 2020."

Donald Arabian

NASA Legend Donald D. Arabian, SpaceCoast Daily

"He had a long and distinguished career as a senior NASA engineer, working on all the major U.S. manned space programs from Mercury through Apollo. He headed the Test Division at Johnson Space Center and was Chief of the Mission Evaluation Room (MER) responsible for solving in-flight problems throughout the Apollo Program. Don and the "Mer-men" as they liked to refer to themselves are best known for solving the problems on Apollo 13 that brought that crew home safely."

- Donald Arabian, Legacy
- Donald D. Arabian, NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project, Edited Oral History Transcript

NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator - Aug. 17, 2020

"This week the agency's COVID-19 Response leadership and I will record a town hall to answer your questions and provide an update on the status of the agency. If you'd like to submit a question, please visit https://www.nasa.gov/townhall before the submission window closes tomorrow, Aug. 18, at noon EDT. You'll receive a NASA INC message with a link to the video once it is available for viewing Thursday, Aug. 20."

NASA Associate Administrator Memo: Moving Forward Together; Next Agency Town Hall,

"On Wednesday, Aug. 19, I will join Administrator Bridenstine, Deputy Administrator Morhard, and other agency leaders, to answer your questions about how we move forward together."

Keith's note: The questions used to be available here but NASA has removed the link. They ere all about COVID-19 and teleworking. If anyone has a link to the archived event we'd appreciate it if you'd post in in the comments.

NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator - Aug. 17, 2020

"Shout Out: Tomorrow, Aug. 18, John W. "Jack" Boyd will retire, after joining NASA's predecessor, NACA, 73 years ago. Once serving as the associate center director for Ames and currently as senior advisor to the center director, Jack's early research in aerodynamics contributed to more efficient supersonic flight, such as the development of conical camber and canard configurations. As associate administrator for management, he helped realign headquarters to meet the challenges and the development of the Space Shuttle Program and what would eventually become the International Space Station. I am grateful for all of Jack's contributions from NACA to NASA and wish him the best! Thank you, Jack, and happy 95th birthday!"

Image: Me, Jack Boyd, and his wife at Cooper Garrod Vineyard in 2009. Larger image

Keith's note: When I read this today I had to re-read it since it contained words I never expected to see "Jack Boyd" and "retire". I sent Jack and Eugene Tu an email asking if there had been a clerical mistake. I first met Jack in the 1980s in my 30s and he was in his 60s when I visited Ames while working at NASA HQ Life Science Division. Flash forward: I'm filling out Medicare enrollment forms now. And Jack is still punching his timecard at NASA. In the ensuing 35 years I saw Jack regularly - especially when I was working on crazy projects at Ames. Jack's sharpness has been consistent - and he always seemed to find something funny in everything NASA did while being one of its most steadfast proponents. His advice to Ames - and NASA - has been cogent and reaches back to a time when slide rules and good engineering were important. Today software fixes everything. I am certain "retirement" is just something he's doing because he's 30 years overdue. Yet he'll probably just show up at Ames as a docent at the center's museum.

If you want to meet someone who lived through America's space program it is Jack Boyd. Jack knew NASA before there was a NASA.

Keith's note: I have known John Rummel for 35 years. I first worked with John at the old Life Science Division at NASA Headquarters. John has made an indelible mark on NASA's search for life in the universe. Vicki was awarded a Distinguished Public Service medal from NASA for her work on the Mars Phoenix mission. Please consider making a donation to help out John and Vicki and their family in this time of need.

"John, Vicky, and kids Tristan and Hannah were in a severe car accident on July 22nd. John and the kids are with Vicky now in Billings, Montana where she is undergoing surgeries to her legs, and where she will be monitored until her doctors can determine a safe release date. John sustained a handful of injuries as well, making it necessary to have a second and third pair of hands available to give Tristan and Hannah the best possible attention and care."

Hipkin-Rummel Get Well Soon Fund

Alan Phillips

Alan Harwood Phillips

"Alan Harwood Phillips, 60, of Albemarle passed away on Monday, August 3, 2020 at home surrounded by his family following a four month battle with brain cancer. ... Alan was the founding director of the NASA Safety Center and served as director until his retirement in July of last year. Prior to his selection as director of the NSC, he led Langley Research Center's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance in Hampton, VA for four years. In this position, he led and managed the Center's Institutional Safety and Mission Assurance Program and was accepted as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). One of Mr. Phillips' greatest accomplishments was when he received the Presidential Rank Award, which recognizes select members of the SES for their sustained excellent service. Throughout his career and travels, Alan formed deep friendships with numerous colleagues."

Ad Astra.

Mike Freilich

NASA Administrator Statement on the Passing of Mike Freilich

"Mike Freilich, passionate explorer and former director of NASA's Earth Science Division: "Our planet has lost a true champion with the passing of Mike Freilich. NASA sends our condolences to his loved ones, and the entire NASA Family shares their loss. "As the head of NASA Earth Science, Mike was known for his diligence and an unwavering commitment to accuracy and making sure the science was strong. His oversize passion for all things related to expanding knowledge about the complex systems of our planet saw an incredible diversity of missions launch on his watch. Mike never avoided the tough decisions, but his deep expertise and innate love of science helped our agency to innovate and expand the ways it observes our home planet."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from August 2020.

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