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Jim Bridenstine: NASA to Downselect Candidates for Human Exploration & Operations Head

Jim Bridenstine

NASA is still looking for someone to replace Bill Gerstenmaier as associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations directorate, Space News reported Wednesday. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, told reporters that there are “very few people” with the appropriate program management and human spaceflight experience to fill the role during a press conference in Cleveland.

“At this point we have not even begun to narrow the field,” he said. “We’re going to start narrowing it down in the coming weeks, and we’ll be ready to announce a name, I would imagine, in the not-too-distant future.”

Bridenstine announced Gerstenmaier’s reassignment as special advisor to NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard in July. Ken Bowersox replaced Gerstenmaier on an acting basis as part of the reorganization effort supporting of the Trump administration’s goal to commence the moon mission by 2024.

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