A NASA executive who was appointed just six weeks ago to lead the strategy for future missions to the Moon has resigned, The Hill reports.
Mark Sirangelo was hired in April as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. It’s a sudden departure that looks especially odd considering the White House’s focus on getting Americans back to the Moon — but Congress’s refusal to grant extra funds is forcing NASA to re-evaluate the ambitious plans.
The news comes after lawmakers rejected NASA’s proposal to establish a team dedicated to devising a sustainable lunar mission and future Mars missions — a rejection, according to Bridenstine, that was partly responsible for Sirangelo’s departure.
“We are exploring what organizational changes within HEO [Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate] are necessary to ensure we maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities.”
READ MORE: NASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment [The Hill]
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