by Jamie Bennet
March 28, 2023
Ken Bowersox will transition from deputy associate administrator to head of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, effective May 1.
He will succeed outgoing SOMD Associate Administrator Kathryn Lueders, who announced her retirement after 31 years at the agency, NASA announced Monday.
Bowersox is an accomplished astronaut, completing five orbital missions and 211 days in space. He was the commander of the sixth expedition to the International Space Station. He was also a crew member in two flights to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and in another two missions to the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory.
The executive was appointed director of the Johnson Space Center’s Flight Crew Operations Directorate, and later transitioned to the private sector as vice president of astronaut safety and mission assurance at SpaceX. Subsequently, he returned to NASA as interim chair of its advisory council.
“Kathy and Ken have both dedicated their life’s work to NASA and our nation,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson commented. “We know countless individuals at NASA – as well as members of the Artemis Generation – will be inspired by Kathy’s service and countless contributions, he said. Nelson also noted that Bowersox ”has been instrumental to advancing NASA’s goals and missions in low-Earth orbit and beyond, and I know Space Operations will be in good hands under his leadership.”