Status Report

NASA Internal memo: Hail and Farewell from Deputy Administrator Gregory

By SpaceRef Editor
September 9, 2005
Filed under ,

[] On Behalf Of NASA_INC
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 11:13 AM
Subject: Hail and Farewell from Deputy Administrator Gregory

Point of Contact: Dean Acosta, Public Affairs, 202/358-1898

Hail and Farewell from Deputy Administrator Gregory

After 31 wonderful years working for the world’s greatest research and exploration agency, and with some of the finest friends one could hope for, I have decided to call it a career. It is with tremendous appreciation for the opportunity my country has given me to be associated with NASA, first as a research test pilot, then as an astronaut, and most recently as deputy administrator, that I have informed the President of my resignation effective Oct. 3.

During my time at NASA, I have been ever humbled by the support that our nation has provided for our journeys, the positive influence NASA has had on our next generation of explorers, and the great respect and admiration demonstrated by our international friends.

As the deputy administrator, I have been privileged to have a front row seat for some of our agency’s greatest successes, including the unstoppable Mars Exploration Rovers, the Cassini-Huygens Saturn Mission, Deep Impact and the flight of the X-43A scramjet-powered research vehicles. I will always be amazed by the images we’ve received from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. And I know that our Earth will profit from the knowledge gained and insight provided by the Aura and IceSat spacecrafts.

Another measure of progress that gives me great pride is the five years of continuous human occupancy we’ve achieved on the International Space Station. Many said that it would be unachievable. What we will learn from this experience, however, will yield unimagined knowledge necessary for our next human endeavors in space exploration.

Sadly, I also recall being at headquarters the day we lost my friends on board the Columbia and nearly 20 years ago serving as capcom when my friends on board the Challenger launched into the heavens. I will never forget these amazing individuals and their contributions to the exploration of the vast universe around us. In taking leave now, I am most gratified to observe the many positive changes taking place throughout the agency with regard to how we work collectively to ensure mission safety, and I’m confident that the NASA team will be able to sustain this vital focus.

In my letter of resignation, I personally thanked the President for his confidence in NASA, which will allow this agency to lead the exploration vision, the great adventure that will take the pioneers of the future well beyond low Earth orbit in search of the unknown. This is an adventure that will have a profound impact, not only on our understanding of what’s out there, but also, how that understanding will help prepare us for the challenges of the future, no matter what they are.

I wish Mike Griffin and his team the best of success as they take on the challenge of implementing the exploration vision. I know they will succeed and do so with tremendous skill and dedication.

To all of you who welcomed a young helicopter pilot turned test pilot into the fold back in 1974, supported me and my crewmates on three incredible shuttle missions, and extended to my wife Barbara and me your warm friendship and hospitality throughout the years, you have my deepest gratitude.

From the bottom of my heart thank you and Godspeed to the good people of NASA.

Fred Gregory
NASA Deputy Administrator

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SpaceRef staff editor.