William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA’s former Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations. Photo Credit: NASA
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The reassignment of long-time NASA Associate Administrator for Human Explorations and Operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, came as a shock to most everyone in the space flight community. Such was made clear at the Glenn Symposium which was held July 10-12.
Gerstenmaier is highly-regarded and has served in the post for over a decade. There had been no discernible hints of any displeasure or any leadership rifts involving Gerstenmaier and other NASA or those within President Trump’s administration.
Nevertheless, late on July 10, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced through a memo to NASA employees that Gerstenmaier was being reassigned as a special assistant to NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard. Former astronaut Ken Bowersox, who was serving as Gerstenmaier’s deputy, was given the nod to take over as acting associate administrator.
The following day, July 11, both Morhard and Bowersox were in attendance at the Inaugural John Glenn Memorial Symposium in Cleveland, Ohio. The event was hosted by the American Astronautical Association in conjunction with the NASA Glenn Research Center.
Morhard was the opening speaker for the event, but did ...