Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Parsons set to depart KSC Director Post

This Just In From NASA:


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA announced Tuesday that William Parsons,
director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is leaving
the agency in mid-October to pursue opportunities in the private
sector. Parsons will be succeeded by former astronaut Robert Cabana,
currently director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in

Gene Goldman, Stennis' deputy director, will become the acting center

Parsons, who joined NASA in 1990, also has served as director of
Stennis. His other NASA assignments have included launch site support
manager, manager of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office,
chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate, Space Shuttle
Program manager and deputy director of the Johnson Space Center in

"It has been my distinct privilege to have gotten to know and work
with Bill Parsons since joining NASA as the administrator," NASA
Administrator Michael Griffin said. "In managing both centers and
programs for NASA, Bill has demonstrated unswerving dedication to the
mission and unshakable loyalty to his teammates. I have learned to
expect that from marines, and Bill's early training is always in
evidence. While wishing him well in his new endeavors, I will miss
him greatly."

His successor, Cabana, is a native of Minnesota. He graduated from the
U.S. Naval Academy in 1971 with a bachelor of science degree in
mathematics and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine
Corps. Cabana is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test
Pilot School and has logged over 7,000 hours in 36 different

After his selection as an astronaut candidate in June of 1985, Cabana completed his training in 1986. He has flown four space shuttle
missions, serving as the pilot of Discovery missions STS-41 in
October 1990 and STS-53 in December 1992, commander of Columbia on
STS-65 in July 1994, and commander of Endeavour on STS-88 - the first
International Space Station assembly mission - in December 1998.

Before being named the director at Stennis in October 2007, Cabana served as deputy director of Johnson. In addition, Cabana has worked
as chief of NASA's Astronaut Office; manager of international
operations of the International Space Station Program; director of
NASA's Human Space Flight Program in Russia; deputy director of the
International Space Station Program; and director of Flight Crew

"Bob Cabana is long-time colleague, and another whose marine training
has redounded to NASA's benefit," Griffin said. "Bob has seen it all
and done it all in human spaceflight, and done it with an open,
collaborative style. There is just no better teammate. He will be a
terrific successor to Bill Parsons as Director of KSC."

NOTE ON IMAGES: Click to enlarge the top NASA photo, which shows Bill Parsons (left), director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and Dave King, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, in the firing room at the Launch Control Center, discussing the imminent launch of space shuttle Discovery on its STS-124 mission in June. You can also click to enlarge the second two, which show Bob Cabana heading out to the launch pad and into an orbiter for the STS-88 mission in 1998. The flight was the first International Space Station assembly mission launched by NASA.

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