Friday, March 04, 2011

Astronaut Reisman leaves NASA for SpaceX

Garrett Reisman is leaving NASA's astronaut corps to join SpaceX, the agency and company announced this morning.

The 43-year-old New Jersey native with a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering flew aboard Atlantis last year on the shuttle mission that preceded Discovery's.

He also lived on the International Space Station for three months in 2008 as a flight engineer.

At SpaceX, Reisman will be a senior engineer working on astronaut safety and mission assurance, joining former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox.

SpaceX is a contender to fly NASA crews after the shuttle is retired.

“After the Space Shuttle's last flight later this year, America will be dependent on our Russian partners for getting NASA astronauts to space," Reisman said in a statement. "NASA's commercial crew development program is our only hope for a quick, safe and affordable alternative, and SpaceX is well-positioned to lead this effort given the strength of their performance during the NASA COTS program.”

“We’re excited about the great team that we are building," added SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. "Garrett’s experience designing and using spaceflight hardware will be invaluable as we prepare the spacecraft that will carry the next generation of explorers."

Said Peggy Whitson, chief of NASA's astronaut office: "(Reisman) is an incredibly accomplished professional and well-known for his great sense of humor. We wish him the best in this new phase of his career, but we will miss him greatly."

IMAGE: NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, STS-132 mission specialist, participated in the mission's third and final session of extravehicular activity on May 21, 2010, as construction and maintenance continued on the International Space Station.

No comments: