Former astronaut to head Stennis Space Center

Former astronaut Robert Cabana, the

deputy director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, has

been named director of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

Richard Gilbrech, Stennis Space Center's top manager, has been

promoted to associate administrator for the Exploration Systems

Mission Directorate, the NASA division designing the next

generation of spacecraft.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made the management

announcements Friday.

Cabana joined the astronaut corps in 1985; he flew twice as a

space-shuttle pilot and twice as commander, logging more than 1,000

hours in space. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

"With the spacecraft engine development work planned during the

next few years, Stennis is a key to our future beyond low-Earth

orbit, and replacing Rick as its director is a difficult task,"

Griffin said.

"We are lucky to have in Bob Cabana a highly experienced center

deputy, test pilot, astronaut and engineer to fill this position.

Few people have given more to NASA and to spaceflight than Bob."

Gilbrech is replacing Scott Horowitz, a fighter pilot, test

pilot and astronaut, who will leave NASA in early October.

Gilbrech, a graduate of Mississippi State University, started

his career at Stennis, which he has headed since last year.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have as (Horowitz's)

replacement someone of Rick Gilbrech's training, talent and

experience," Griffin said. "With experience in both institutional

and project management, Rick's willingness to take on this

challenge will ensure the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate

remains in good hands."


Information from: The Sun Herald,