NASA's Exploration Chief to Step Down

NASA's Exploration Chief to Step Down
Scott "Doc" Horowitz, NASA Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON-- Scott "Doc" Horowitz, NASA's associate administrator forexploration systems since late 2005, plans to step down this fall.

NASAspokeswoman Beth Dickey confirmed July 11 that Horowitz had informed colleaguesthat afternoon of his intent to resign on or around Oct. 1. She had noimmediate information on a successor.

As head ofNASA's $3.4 billion ExplorationSystems Mission Directorate, Horowitz is in charge of the U.S. spaceagency's efforts to replace the space shuttle fleet with the Orion CrewExploration Vehicle and Ares I rocket.

Horowitz, aretired U.S. Air Force colonel, flew four space shuttle missions as pilot orcommander.

Afterleaving the astronaut corps in 2004, Horowitz joined Alliant Techsystems as itsdirector of exploration and space transportation. In that role, Horowitzvigorously pushed for using the space shuttle solid-rocket booster (SRB) as thebasis for NASA's next crewed launch vehicle.

In 2005,before Horowitz rejoined NASA, the agency selected the four segment SRB-basedcrew launch vehicle design over competing designs that would have made use ofthe Atlas 5 or Delta 4 rockets developed under the U.S. Air Force's Evolved ExpendableLaunch Vehicle program.

The mainstage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle is being built for NASA by AlliantTechsystems.


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Editor-in-Chief, SpaceNews

Brian Berger is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews, a bi-weekly space industry news magazine, and He joined SpaceNews covering NASA in 1998 and was named Senior Staff Writer in 2004 before becoming Deputy Editor in 2008. Brian's reporting on NASA's 2003 Columbia space shuttle accident and received the Communications Award from the National Space Club Huntsville Chapter in 2019. Brian received a bachelor's degree in magazine production and editing from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.