CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s chief of human exploration has resigned just days before the first astronaut launch in nearly a decade from Kennedy Space Center.

The space agency notified employees of the news Tuesday.

Douglas Loverro, whose resignation took effect Monday, joined NASA last October. He is a former Defense Department and National Reconnaissance Office manager, specializing in space security matters for three decades.

NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs would only say Loverro decided to resign and, beyond that, the agency cannot discuss personnel issues.

The announcement comes just eight days before SpaceX attempts to launch its first astronauts under NASA’s commercial crew program. Liftoff is scheduled for May 27.

Besides overseeing SpaceX and Boeing's effort to ferry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, Loverro was in charge of NASA's Artemis moon-landing program. Just 2 1/2 weeks ago, NASA announced the three winning corporate teams that will develop lunar landers for astronauts.

Former space shuttle commander Ken Bowersox, Loverro's deputy, will resume his role as acting associate administrator of human exploration and operations.

———

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.