By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, NASA administrator Charles Golden announced that Patrick Scheuermann will be the new Direcrtor of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Former MSFC Director Robert Lightfoot moved to NASA headquarters months ago to be the Acting Associate Administrator. Administrator Golden named Director Lightfoot the Associate Administrator, that is the the top ranking civil service position in the agency. Scheuermann has been the Director of the John C. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Ms. Scheurman will be replaced at Stennis by Dr. Richard J. Gilbrech, who is currently that center’s deputy director
NASA Administrator Golden said, “Robert, Patrick and Rick are three of NASA’s finest public servants who will continue to play key roles in our agency’s future. America is fortunate to have three such talented leaders assuming these important jobs at a pivotal time for NASA and space exploration.”
U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R) from Huntsville said in a written statement, “I look forward to working with Patrick Scheuermann as the new Director of Marshall Space Flight Center. Scheuermann’s previous work at the John C. Stennis Space Center suggests he is well-prepared to carry on Marshall’s legacy. Scheuermann’s reputation for excellence precedes him; Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, tells me Stennis’ loss is Marshall’s gain. “I wish former director Robert Lightfoot and former acting director Gene Goldman all the best in their new positions and thank them for their work during their time at Marshall.”
Director Lightfoot left Marshall on March 5. Since then MSFC has been directed by Gene Goldman (who left in August to take over Aerojet’s Southeast Space Operations division.) Robin Henderson has filled in as acting director on a temporary basis since then.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R)f from Alabama said in a written statement, “Those who know him describe Patrick Scheuermann as bright, enthusiastic, and dedicated. He knows the Huntsville area and Marshall Space Flight Center well, has experience in rocketry, and is, by all accounts, a great choice. I spoke this morning with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who spoke highly of him.”
Senator Sessions said, “Scheuermann’s selection is a good signal for the future and it was also good to hear the Administrator reaffirm his commitment to human space flight and the 130 metric ton heavy lift rocket.” “Manned space flight is essential to the future of America’s space program. We must continue to lead the world into space and stay true to our legacy as a nation of explorers and pioneers.”
Scheuermann has been the director at Stennis since 2010 where he has been responsible for implementing NASA’s mission in the area of rocket propulsion testing, and developing and maintaining NASA’s world-class rocket propulsion test facilities. Prior to that Scheuermann served as Stennis’ deputy director and associate director, in addition to working as chief operating officer of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Scheuermann joined NASA in 1988 as a propulsion test engineer. He served as project manager for NASA’s Reusable Launch Vehicle program.