WASHINGTON — A former space industry executive who joined NASA to guide its revamped lunar exploration strategy has left the agency after just a month and a half.
In an internal memo May 23, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that Mark Sirangelo had stepped down as a special assistant to the administrator after a proposed reorganization of the agency was rejected by Congress.
That reorganization would have created a “Moon to Mars Mission Directorate” incorporating parts of the existing Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and Space Technology Mission Directorate. Bridenstine announced plans to create the directorate in March, when Vice President Mike Pence set the goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024, saying it would “focus on the formulation and execution of exploration development activities.”
Bridenstine then announced in an April 8 memo that Sirangelo, a former executive vice president at Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems, had joined the agency as a special assistant with “broad responsibility to work across the Mission Directorates to further develop the agency’s plans for the Exploration Campaign.” Sirangelo was widely seen as the likely choice to lead that new mission directorate.
Congress, though, rejected the proposed reorganization, although Bridenstine did ...