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  John Shannon succeeds Wayne Hale as Space Shuttle Program Manager

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Author Topic:   John Shannon succeeds Wayne Hale as Space Shuttle Program Manager
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-22-2008 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Selects New Deputy Associate Administrator of Strategic Partnerships and Space Shuttle Program Manager

NASA announced the selection of N. Wayne Hale, Jr. as NASA's deputy associate administrator for strategic partnerships on Friday. John Shannon, a Mission Management Team chairman and Hale's deputy since November 2005, will succeed him as the Space Shuttle Program manager.


Wayne Hale and John Shannon together in Mission Control in 2001

"Wayne has done so much for the human spaceflight program and built a strong team. The momentum he created will continue," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "We know John will do an outstanding job as the program manager after his tremendous leadership as Wayne's deputy."

Hale has served as the manager of the Space Shuttle Program since September 2005. In his new position, he will work in Houston as a senior NASA official in the Space Operations Mission Directorate, providing strategic leadership to foster cooperative partnerships that help achieve NASA goals, build alliances across the public and private sectors, and improve U.S. competitiveness and economic growth.

As the Space Shuttle Program manager, Hale led the shuttle's Return to Flight missions, along with six subsequent flights that successfully continued construction of the International Space Station.

"John Shannon is completely ready to take the reins in NASA's most critical program," Hale said. "His leadership skills are well established, and the shuttle program will do well under his care."

As the manager of the shuttle program, Shannon will be responsible for overall management, integration, and operations. He began his NASA career as a flight control officer in the Mission Control Center in 1988.

Shannon was selected as the head of Space Shuttle Guidance, Navigation and Flight Control in 1992 and became a space shuttle flight director in 1993, supporting 58 shuttle missions. He holds the distinction of being the youngest flight director in NASA history. After serving as deputy director of the Columbia Task Force in 2003, Shannon was selected to create the Space Shuttle Program's Flight Operations and Integration Office.

Hale's new job is the latest in a career of more than three decades at NASA.

Before becoming the manager of Space Shuttle Program, Hale served as the program's deputy manager following the Columbia accident and chaired the program's Mission Management Team. Before that, he was the launch integration manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Hale began his career with NASA in the Propulsion Systems Section of Flight Operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, in 1978. He became a lead propulsion systems officer in Mission Control and later headed the Propulsion Systems Section from 1985 to 1988. Hale also oversaw flight control teams in Mission Control during all aspects of 40 space shuttle missions, including 28 overseeing the critical ascent and entry phases. His last two years as a flight director were spent as deputy chief flight director for shuttle operations.

East-Frisian
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Posts: 398
From: Germany
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 02-24-2008 02:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hm, I'm a little bit astonished. Nothin' from any cSers about Wayne Hale. NASA said it already, that he did a good job, and I agree.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 02-24-2008 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, this is the first I have read about it. Wayne was indeed a good manager of the shuttle program. He had the right combination of personality and management style for the job IMHO and I hope he does well in his new posting. John should do well also, but he has some big shoes to fill and this is a critical time to be in charge of shuttle as they get down to the wire on flights. Good luck to both of them!

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 02-25-2008 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm confused, no reaction from cSers? Why? Is there something worth digging? Did Hale ask to be "reassigned" (the word itself can be interpreted in different ways: he asked for it or was "fired") or was there some other motives we don't know about? And then read Dwayne Day's article in The Space Review... Still don't know what to think about this.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2008 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Harwood spoke to Wayne Hale about his reassignment:
N. Wayne Hale, a veteran ascent-entry flight director who helped steer NASA through its recovery from the 2003 Columbia disaster, says the agency's decision last week to replace him as shuttle program manager caught him by surprise. But in a telephone interview today, Hale embraced the change and said his replacement, deputy program manager and Mission Management Team Chairman John Shannon, is the right man for the job.

"The senior leadership of the agency felt like they needed someone with some technical credibility and at least a modicum of speaking and writing ability to help build partnerships with other agencies, corporations, academic groups and international groups in addition to what's already going forward," Hale said. "They looked around for somebody and I guess I fit the bill.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-27-2008 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't feel that article to be somewhat reassuring. It sounds a lot like "take this job or leave". I know that NASA's looking for ways to attract attention to what it does but when Hale says:
"Frankly, it's still a little bit undefined what it is I'm going to be doing. I'm just moving offices right now. But we'll be having some discussions next week in Washington about exactly what they want me to do."
...I can't help but wonder what's going on (internal politics/power struggles?).

I know I'm paranoid but if there's one thing Challenger taught me is to read between the lines... or at least try to.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2008 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think most who follow such things would agree that Shannon was being groomed for Hale's position for some time now, but the expectation was that it was in preparation for Hale's eventual retirement (whenever he chose to leave), not his reassignment.

Hale's new title is enigmatic enough that it will probably take some time to see why his particular skills as a manager were needed in Washington.

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