NASA’s director of human exploration has resigned days before the first launch with astronauts in nearly a decade from the Kennedy Space Center.The agency notified the news Tuesday to its employees. Douglas Loverro, whose resignation went into effect on Monday, joined NASA in October. He was a manager in the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office, and specialized for three decades in matters of national security.
NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said only that Loverro decided to resign and that the agency cannot discuss personal matters. The announcement was made just eight days before SpaceX attempts to launch a manned spacecraft for the first time under NASA’s commercial program. Takeoff is scheduled for May 27.
In addition to overseeing SpaceX and Boeing’s plans to bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, Loverro was in charge of NASA’s Artemis moon landing program. Just two and a half weeks ago, NASA announced the three winning corporate teams that will develop moon landing gear for astronauts. Former space shuttle commander Ken Bowerox, Loverro’s second, will continue his role as interim associate administrator for human exploration.