Press Release

Marshall Space Flight Center Director Steps Down

By SpaceRef Editor
May 20, 2003
Filed under ,

NASA Associate Administrator of Space Flight William F.
Readdy today announced the reassignment of Arthur G.
Stephenson, Center Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight
Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., effective June 15.
Stephenson decided to step down from his current position and
move to an important role in promoting NASA’s Education
efforts until his retirement in January 2004.

“I worked closely with Art in the Office of Space Flight, and
I’m thankful for what he has done for the Marshall Space
Flight Center, the people of Alabama, and the entire NASA
family,” said Readdy in making the announcement.

“I have the deepest respect and appreciation for Art and his
dedication to public service,” said NASA Administrator Sean
O’Keefe. “Art, with his exemplary private sector experience,
brought a contemporary business management practice to our
advocacy of next generation technology, and has been a
staunch champion of education for our future explorers.”

Stephenson will serve as Special Assistant to Dr. Adena
Loston, the Associate Administrator for Education at NASA
Headquarters, Washington, and will be based at the National
Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville.
The NSSTC is a partnership between MSFC, Alabama
universities, federal agencies, and industry. NSSTC is a
laboratory for cutting-edge research in selected scientific
and engineering disciplines.

“The job of Center Director at Marshall is without a doubt
the best job I have had in my career. The people at Marshall
and Huntsville are my family, but after five years, I felt it
was time to consider new challenges,” Stephenson said. “With
NASA preparing to implement a comprehensive ‘Return to
Flight’ effort, I felt the timing for this move is in the
best interest of the agency, Marshall, and me, personally. I
want to assist Adena and NASA in advancing the agency’s
important education initiatives,” added Stephenson. “And I
want to spend a lot of time advancing the important work of
the NSSTC and its mandate to educate the next generation of
scientists and engineers for space-based research,” he said.

Stephenson was named Marshall’s center director in 1998,
where he directed work on critical NASA initiatives such as
development of new reusable launch vehicles, Space Shuttle
propulsion, advanced space transportation systems, research
in microgravity, and science payload operations aboard the
International Space Station, as well as the launch and
continuing successful operation of the Chandra X-ray
Observatory, the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope.

Stephenson came to NASA with more than 35 years experience in
the space industry. His career started in 1964 with TRW,
working on the design of test equipment for the Lunar Module
Abort Guidance System in the Apollo program. During the next
27 years, he took on even greater roles in the nation’s space
exploration efforts. He led the development of the Pioneer
Jupiter Spacecraft Receiver, the first spacecraft to exit our
solar system, and the development of the Space Shuttle
Orbiter S-band Network Transponder still in use today.

He managed several spacecraft and space transportation
programs before leaving TRW in 1992 to become vice president
of Oceaneering Space Systems in Houston. In 1997, he became
president of Oceaneering Technologies, which includes
divisions working with the U.S. Navy, NASA, Department of
Energy, and the entertainment industries.

For his contributions to America’s space program and the
nation, Stephenson has been recognized with the NASA
Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Group Achievement
Award, and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

In 2001, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by The
University of Alabama System and was selected by the American
Society for Engineering Management as the 2001 Engineering
Manager of the Year. Most recently, he received the Career
Achievement Award from the University of Redlands, Calif.

Marshall is one of NASA’s largest field installations, with
more than 6,500 civil service and contract employees. The
center manages a broad range of research and development
activities, including next-generation propulsion technology
and the International Space Station’s Payload Operations
Center, which controls all onboard Station experiments.

Additional information about NASA, the Marshall Space Flight
Center, and the National Space Science and Technology Center
is available on the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.