Jody Singer, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Director, announced Monday her retirement, effective Saturday, July 29, after more than 38 years of service. Among many firsts in her career, Singer was appointed as the first female center director at Marshall in 2018, after serving as deputy director from 2016 to 2018.
Marshall’s current deputy center director, Joseph Pelfrey, will serve as the interim acting director until Singer’s successor is identified through a nationwide search and open competition.
“I wish Jody well during her retirement. And I know individuals at the beginning of their career at NASA – and members of the Artemis Generation who dream of working here – will be inspired by Jody’s service, knowing their contributions can help return NASA astronauts to the Moon and prepare us for crewed missions to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “And Joseph Pelfrey is no stranger to Marshall, having joined the center two decades ago as an aerospace engineer. Today, he helps guide Marshall’s broad portfolio of human spaceflight, science, and technology development, which supports missions across NASA. We are confident Joseph is prepared to guide Marshall through this transition.”
As center director, Singer managed one of NASA’s largest field installations, with nearly 7,000 on- and near-site civil service and contractor employees with an annual budget of approximately $5 billion.
Under Singer’s leadership, NASA Marshall, known for its prominence in large space transportation systems, has expanded its portfolio to include human lunar landing and cargo systems, space habitation and transit systems, advanced propulsion, additive manufacturing, science payload operations, Mars ascent spacecraft and cutting-edge science and technology missions through innovative partnerships with other NASA centers, industry, government agencies and academia. The Marshall team was critical to the successes of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, and SLS (Space Launch System), the agency’s powerful heavy-lift rocket.
Singer joined NASA in 1985 though the professional intern program. She joined the Space Shuttle Program Office in 1986 as an engineer in the Space Shuttle Main Engine Office and was involved with Return to Flight activities after the space shuttle Challenger accident. She was the first female project manager for the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project from 2002 to 2007 and led the team during the shuttle Columbia Return to Flight activities. Starting in 2008 until the shuttle’s successful retirement in 2011, she was deputy manager in the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office. Cumulatively, Jody was part of 110 space shuttle launches.
Serving in roles of increasing responsibility, Singer held deputy positions for three concurrent programs, the space shuttle, Ares, and the start-up of SLS. As deputy for the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office, she guided successful fly-out and retirement of the shuttle and the transition of workforce and assets to the Ares Project Office and SLS Program. As the deputy program manager of SLS at Marshall, she helped oversee almost 3,000 civil servants and contractors involved in the developing, testing, and certification of the rocket. From 2013 to 2016, Singer was manager of the Flight Programs and Partnerships Office at Marshall, where she held primary responsibility for the center’s work with human advanced exploration projects, science flight mission programs, technology demonstration missions, commercial crew and International Space Station life support systems, research facilities, and payload mission operations.
Singer has twice been a NASA Fellow, at Pennsylvania State College and Simmons College Graduate School of Management. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious NASA awards, including the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Silver Snoopy, and NASA Outstanding Leadership medals. She also is a recipient of two Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Awards. Her external recognitions include Rotary Stellar National Award for Space Achievement; Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame; Distinguished Fellow by the University of Alabama College of Engineering; Gardner Award; AIAA Associate Fellow; 2022 Alabama Engineer of the Year; and the AIAA Herman Oberth Award.
For more information about NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, visit:
United States Space Force: Protecting America’s Interests in Space
“Learn about the United States Space Force: its formation, purpose, and role in protecting national security and space assets.”
The United States Space Force (USSF) is the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, established to protect American interests in space. It was formed on December 20, 2019, when President Donald Trump signed the United States Space Force Act, making it the first new independent military service in over 70 years.
While the concept of a Space Force had been discussed since the 1950s, the need for a dedicated space-focused military branch became increasingly evident with the growing importance of space in national security and defense. The USSF operates under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps operates under the Department of the Navy. It is led by the Secretary of the Air Force and its military heads are the Chief of Space Operations and the Vice Chief of Space Operations.
The Space Force’s primary purpose is to ensure the freedom of operation in space and protect U.S. space assets. It is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping space forces, which are then deployed to the unified combatant commands, particularly the United States Space Command. The Space Force operates various programs and systems, including GPS, the Space Fence, military satellite communications constellations, X-37B spaceplanes, the U.S. missile warning system, the U.S. space surveillance network, and the Satellite Control Network.
The USSF’s formation marked a significant recognition of the critical role space plays in national security, communication, and technological advancement. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on space-based assets for navigation, communication, and intelligence gathering, the Space Force aims to protect these capabilities, deter aggression, and maintain superiority in space.
By establishing the Space Force, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding its interests in space and maintaining its position as a global leader in space capabilities. As technology continues to advance and more nations venture into space, the United States Space Force will play a vital role in ensuring the security and resilience of American assets in this final frontier. Kindly click on the link for further details: https://www.spaceforce.mil/
Join Metro in Clearing the Air on California Clean Air Day
“Go Metro for FREE on California Clean Air Day! Clear the air by taking the bus, train, bike, or walking. Join us!”
Metro is excited to announce its support for California Clean Air Day and invites you to join us in our efforts to combat air pollution. On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, Metro is offering FREE rides on buses, trains, and bikes, encouraging everyone to take part in this important initiative. By choosing Metro as your mode of transportation, you can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in our region. Let’s take action together and make a positive impact on the health of our communities.
Air pollution affects us all, and it’s essential that we work collectively to address this issue. California Clean Air Day serves as a call to action, inspiring us to adopt sustainable transportation alternatives. Metro offers a range of options for you to participate in this day of action.
Choose the Bus or Train:
By taking the bus or train, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help clear the air. Metro’s extensive network covers various destinations throughout the region, making it a convenient and eco-friendly choice. Enjoy a stress-free commute while actively contributing to a cleaner environment.
Walk or Ride a Bike:
For shorter distances, consider walking or riding a bike. Metro not only supports these active modes of transportation but also offers free rides on California Clean Air Day for Metro Bike Share and Metro Micro. Redeem your free rides using the provided codes and enjoy emissions-free travel while exploring your city.
Plan Your Trip:
To make your journey seamless, Metro provides a trip planner on metro.net. This tool helps you find the best routes, schedules, and connections, ensuring a smooth travel experience. Take advantage of this resource to optimize your trip and make the most of California Clean Air Day.
On October 4, let’s take a break from traffic and pollution by choosing Metro as our preferred mode of transportation. Together, we can make a difference in our communities and pave the way for cleaner air. Visit metro.net/cleanair to learn more about this initiative and how you can contribute. Join us in taking the pledge to clear the air and embrace sustainable transportation options. Remember, every journey counts towards a greener and healthier future. Visit Metro for more info: https://www.metro.net/about/california-clean-air-day-2023/
Record-Setting NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Return from Space Mission
After spending an American record-breaking 371 days in space, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio safely landed on Earth with his crewmates Wednesday.
Rubio departed the International Space Station, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, at 3:54 a.m. EDT, and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 7:17 a.m. (5:17 p.m. Kazakhstan time), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
“Frank’s record-breaking time in space is not just a milestone; it’s a major contribution to our understanding of long-duration space missions,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Our astronauts make extraordinary sacrifices away from their homes and loved ones to further discovery. NASA is immensely grateful for Frank’s dedicated service to our nation and the invaluable scientific contributions he made on the International Space Station. He embodies the true pioneer spirit that will pave the way for future exploration to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”
Rubio launched on his first spaceflight on Sept. 21, 2022, alongside Prokopyev and Petelin. Rubio’s spaceflight is the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut, breaking the record previously held at 355 days by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei.
During his mission, Rubio completed approximately 5,936 orbits and a journey of more than 157 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 328 trips to the Moon and back. He witnessed the arrival of 15 visiting spacecraft and the departure of 14 visiting spacecraft representing crewed and uncrewed cargo missions.
Rubio’s extended mission provides researchers the opportunity to observe the effects of long-duration spaceflight on humans as the agency plans to return to the Moon through the Artemis missions and prepare for exploration of Mars.
Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petelin launched aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft but, due to a coolant leak, returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-23. The affected Soyuz MS-22 capsule returned without its crew after the Soyuz MS-23 capsule launched as a replacement on Feb. 23, 2023.
Following post-landing medical checks, the crew will return to Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Rubio will then board a NASA plane bound for his return to Houston.
During his record-breaking mission, Rubio spent many hours on scientific activities aboard the space station, conducting a variety of tasks ranging from plant research to physical sciences studies.
With the undocking of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, Expedition 70 officially began aboard the station. NASA astronauts Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli remain aboard the orbital outpost alongside ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who became station commander Sept. 26, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Konstantin Borisov, Oleg Kononenko, and Nikolai Chub.
Mogensen, Moghbeli, Furukawa, and Borisov will return to Earth in February 2024, after a short handover with the crew of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission. O’Hara is scheduled to return to Earth in March 2024, while Kononenko and Chub will spend a year aboard the station, returning in September 2024.
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