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NASA Marshall Center Director to Retire After 38 Years of Service

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Jody Singer, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Director, announced Monday her retirement, effective Saturday, July 29, after more than 38 years of service.
Credits: NASA

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:

https://www.nasa.gov/marshall

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NASA Astronaut Available for Interviews Prior to Space Station Mission

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NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson poses for a portrait at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Credits: NASA

NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson is available in limited opportunities to discuss her mission beginning at 8 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 26. The interviews will take place ahead of Dyson launching to the International Space Station in March.

The virtual interviews will stream live on NASA+, NASA Television, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

Interested media must submit a request to speak with Dyson no later than 12 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston newsroom at 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov.

Dyson is scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft Thursday, March 21, and will spend approximately six months aboard the space station. She will travel to the station with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus, both of whom will spend approximately 12 days aboard the orbital complex.

During her expedition, Dyson will conduct scientific investigations and technology demonstrations that help prepare humans for future space missions and benefit people on Earth. Among some of the hundreds of experiments ongoing during her mission, Dyson will continue to study how fire spreads and behaves in space with the Combustion Integrated Rack, as well as contribute to the long-running Crew Earth Observations study by photographing Earth to better understand how our planet is changing over time.

After completing her expedition, Dyson will return to Earth this fall with Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub on the Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft.

Learn more about International Space Station research and operations at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

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New NASA Mission will Study Ultraviolet Sky, Stars, Stellar Explosions

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WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — As NASA explores the unknown in air and space, a new mission to survey ultraviolet light across the entire sky will provide the agency with more insight into how galaxies and stars evolve. The space telescope, called UVEX (UltraViolet EXplorer), is targeted to launch in 2030 as NASA’s next Astrophysics Medium-Class Explorer mission.

This image shows the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097, as seen by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Sand, K. Sheth

In addition to conducting a highly sensitive all-sky survey, UVEX will be able to quickly point toward sources of ultraviolet light in the universe. This will enable it to capture the explosions that follow bursts of gravitational waves caused by merging neutron stars. The telescope also will carry an ultraviolet spectrograph to study stellar explosions and massive stars.

“NASA’s UVEX will help us better understand the nature of both nearby and distant galaxies, as well as follow up on dynamic events in our changing universe,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This mission will bring key capabilities in near-and far-ultraviolet light to our fleet of space telescopes, delivering a wealth of survey data that will open new avenues in exploring the secrets of the cosmos.”

The telescope’s ultraviolet survey will complement data from other missions conducting wide surveys in this decade, including the Euclid mission led by ESA (European Space Agency) with NASA contributions, and NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, set to launch by May 2027. Together, these missions will help create a modern, multi-wavelength map of our universe.

“With the innovative new UVEX mission joining our portfolio, we will gain an important legacy archive of data that will be of lasting value to the science community,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “This new telescope will contribute to our understanding of the universe across multiple wavelengths and address one of the major priorities in Astrophysics today: studying fleeting changes in the cosmos.”

NASA selected the UVEX Medium-Class Explorer concept to continue into development after detailed review of two Medium-Class Explorer and two Mission of Opportunity concept proposals by a panel of scientists and engineers, and after evaluation based on NASA’s current astrophysics portfolio coupled with available resources. The UVEX mission was selected for a two-year mission and will cost approximately $300 million, not including launch costs.

The mission’s principal investigator is Fiona Harrison at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Other institutions involved in the mission include University of California at Berkeley, Northrop Grumman, and Space Dynamics Laboratory.

The Explorers Program is the oldest continuous NASA program. The program is designed to provide frequent, low-cost access to space using principal investigator-led space science investigations relevant to the agency’s astrophysics and heliophysics programs.

Since the launch of Explorer 1 in 1958, which discovered the Earth’s radiation belts, the Explorers Program has launched more than 90 missions, including the Uhuru and Cosmic Background Explorer missions that led to Nobel prizes for their investigators.

The program is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for the Science Mission Directorate, which conducts a wide variety of research and scientific exploration programs for Earth studies, space weather, the solar system, and the universe.

For more information about the Explorers Program, visit:

https://explorers.gsfc.nasa.gov

SOURCE NASA

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NASA Sets Coverage of First US Uncrewed Commercial Moon Landing

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Intuitive Machines is targeting Thursday, Feb. 22, for the landing of their Odysseus lunar lander on the surface of the Moon as part of NASA’s CLPS initiative and Artemis campaign.

Intuitive Machines


As part of NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative and Artemis campaign, Intuitive Machines is targeting no earlier than 5:49 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 22, to land their Odysseus lunar lander near Malapert A in the South Pole region of the Moon.

Live landing coverage will air on NASA+NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA TV can be streamed on a variety of platforms, including social media. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning 4:15 p.m., as the landing milestones occur. Upon successful landing, Intuitive Machines and NASA will host a news conference to discuss the mission and science opportunities that lie ahead as the company begins lunar surface operations.

In May 2019, the agency awarded a task order for scientific payload delivery to Intuitive Machines. Odysseus launched at 1:05 a.m., Feb. 15, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA is working with several U.S. companies to deliver science and technology to the lunar surface through the agency’s CLPS initiative. This pool of companies may bid on task orders for end-to-end delivery services, which includes payload integration and operations, launching from Earth, and landing on the surface of the Moon. NASA’s CLPS contracts are indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a cumulative maximum contract value of $2.6 billion through 2028. 

Through the Artemis campaign, commercial robotic deliveries will perform science experiments, test technologies, and demonstrate capabilities to help NASA explore the Moon in advance of Artemis Generation astronaut missions to the lunar surface, and ultimately crewed missions to Mars.

Watch, engage on social media 

Let people know you’re following the mission on X, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #Artemis. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts: 

X: @NASA, @NASA_Johnson, @NASAArtemis, @NASAMoon 

Facebook: NASANASAJohnsonSpaceCenterNASAArtemis 

Instagram: @NASA, @NASAJohnson, @NASAArtemis 

For more information about the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, see: 

https://www.nasa.gov/clps

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