New NASA Ames director
By Anna Molin,Bay City News Service
May 13, 2006
MOFFET FIELD (BCN) - NASA Ames Research Center officials
announced yesterday that newly appointed director and retired
Air Force Brig. Gen. Simon "Pete" Worden has named Marvin
"Chris" Christensen to serve as his deputy director.
The announcement comes after a series of recent shake-ups at
the Moffett Field laboratory, which is considered one of the leading
research centers in space exploration.
Christensen took over as acting center director about two and-a-half
months ago, when Scott Hubbard, who had served as the center's
director since 2002, resigned to become the holder of the Carl
Sagan chair for the study of life in the universe at the SETI
Institute in Mountain View.
Worden, a research professor of astronomy at the University of
Arizona in Tucson, was selected to replace Hubbard, who among
other things helped investigate the space shuttle Columbia accident.Christensen,
meanwhile, replaces Steven Zornetzer, who lately has served double
duty as acting deputy center director and deputy director of research,
where he started in August 2005.
"With Chris and Steve at the helm, the center was able to
navigate its way through turbulent times and we find ourselves
closer to our goals as a result of their skill and dedication,"
Worden said in a statement released yesterday. "(Christensen)
has provided experienced leadership as acting program manager
of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) since coming to
Ames in September 2005. In that role, he has been instrumental
in regaining a true mission management role for the center and
in kicking off our efforts in the area of small satellites, which
I think will be key to our future."
Christensen's background includes a senior management position
at Lockheed Martin and 40 years at the NASA headquarters, working
in the jet propulsion laboratory, in the field centers and in
the aerospace industry.
"I am delighted that Pete Worden has demonstrated his confidence
in me by naming me his deputy director," Christensen said
in a statement. "I look forward to working with him to strengthen
Ames by building on our traditional areas of excellence, expanding
our business base and pursuing creative use of our facilities."
Worden held director and deputy director positions in the Air
Force Space Command. Together, the new director and deputy director
will preside over the research center's 2,500 research personnel,
an annual budget of about $600 million and more than $3 billion
worth of equipment.
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