The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is reorganizing its manned flight program, creating two new directorates instead of one structural unit, one of which will focus on research beyond Earth’s orbit, including a flight to Mars.
“We are reorganizing the agency’s manned programs into two separate directorates, and this decision takes effect right now,” Bill Nelson, the head of the U.S. Space Agency, announced on Tuesday, speaking to NASA employees.
“Today, we have more than an organizational change. We are laying the foundation for the next 20 years. We are talking about determining the future of NASA in the growing space economy, maintaining leadership in space; this is the main priority for our management,” he added.
The current head of the Directorate of Manned Flights, Kathy Lueders, will head a new structural unit, which will be called the “Directorate of Space Operations.” Its activities will focus on the International Space Station (ISS), commercialization of activities in low-Earth orbit, international cooperation, and support for operations on the Moon and in near-lunar space.