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Message from the Acting Administrator of NASA

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017

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First and foremost, I want to thank Charlie and Dava for their service and leadership of the agency. We are in a good position to move forward toward our challenging goals, and their hard work helped get us there.

As I begin my time as NASA’s acting administrator, I am filled with humility and optimism. To be entrusted with this incredible agency, no matter how long, is an honor, and I commit to serving this team to the best of my ability so we can accomplish our ambitious missions and make this nation proud. Since my NASA career began in 1989, I have been fortunate to be part of some amazing endeavors. From testing Space Shuttle Main Engines and all types of propulsion systems at the Marshall Space Flight Center and Stennis Space Center, to being part of launching space shuttles, to leading Marshall as its Director and, most recently, being part of the leadership team here in Washington as Associate Administrator – I continue to be proud of each of you and your tremendous commitment to our mission.

I have been privileged to work with incredibly diverse teams of engineers and technicians, scientists, researchers, and many others. I’ve also had invaluable support from the equally important people who answer our phones, keep our workspaces clean, help us buy things we need, make sure we have proper facilities for doing our work, and tell our story by engaging the public and the next generation of explorers. The single common focus rallying these teams, no matter how diverse, was getting the job done and getting it done right. This is why we are the number one place to work in government and why we make the impossible possible. And, this is why I am excited about what we will do in the future!

As the transition progresses, we have some initial assignments from the new administration. Erik Noble has been named White House Senior Advisor at NASA. Greg Autry, who was with the Agency Review Team, has been named White House Liaison. I know you will all join me in giving them a warm welcome to the NASA family and thanking them for becoming part of this great agency. There will be other new and familiar faces arriving at Headquarters, and we will communicate with you as often as possible to keep you apprised of those developments.

As Deputy Associate Administrator Lesa Roe and I work with these new members of our team going forward, I urge every one of you to keep doing what you are doing, look out for each other, and as always, we will achieve great things together.

Thank you for what you do every day for NASA and our nation to expand human knowledge through our science and research, to push humans deeper into the solar system and keep our astronauts and workplace safe. It takes all of us – NASA, academia, and our industry and international partners – to achieve the big goals we have for the future. Working together, nothing can stop us from fulfilling our dreams of exploration and discovery!


Robert Lightfoot

Acting Administrator

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