NASA mulls merging operational divisions

Dec. 30, 2010 at 7:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- NASA says it is considering merging its space operations and human spaceflight mission directorates to better reach its manned spaceflight goals.

The heads of NASA's Exploration Systems and Space Operations directorates said they had been asked by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to formulate a plan, to be submitted by early 2011, for combining the two organizations, reported Thursday.

"With the upcoming retirement of the Space Shuttle and the likely transition away from the Constellation Program, planning is under way … to create a new directorate to manage the integrated human spaceflight portfolio for the Agency," Doug Cooke and Bill Gerstenmaier wrote in a Dec. 20 memorandum to agency employees.

Cooke is the administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and Gerstenmaier hold the same position in the Space Operations Mission Directorate.

Plans will be submitted for the best organizational structure consistent with the goals outlined in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, their memo said.

"Such a new organization would manage the International Space Station, Commercial Crew and Cargo, Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Programs, among others currently existing within the two directorates," the memo said.

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