NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Todd May director of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. May was appointed Marshall deputy director in August 2015 and has been serving as acting director since the Nov. 13, 2015 retirement of Patrick Scheuermann.
As director, May will lead one of NASA’s largest field installations, with almost 6,000 civil service and contractor employees, an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion and a broad spectrum of human spaceflight, science and technology development missions.
“Todd’s experience and leadership have been invaluable to the agency, especially as we have embarked on designing, building and testing the Space Launch System, a critical part of NASA’s journey to Mars,” said Bolden. “He brings his expert program management and leadership skills and sense of mission to this new role, and I look forward to having him at the helm of Marshall.”
Since its inception in 2011, May led the Space Launch System (SLS) program through a series of milestones, including a successful in-depth critical design review. SLS, now under development, is the most powerful rocket ever built, able to carry astronauts in NASA’s Orion spacecraft on deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately on a journey to Mars.
May’s NASA career began in 1991 in the Materials and Processes Laboratory at Marshall. He was deputy program manager of the Russian Integration Office in the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1994. May managed the successful integration, launch and commissioning of the station’s Quest airlock in 1998. He also joined the team that launched the Gravity Probe B mission to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
In 2004, May assumed management of the Discovery and New Frontiers Programs, created to explore the solar system with frequent unmanned spacecraft missions. He moved to NASA Headquarters in Washington in 2007 as a deputy associate administrator in the Science Mission Directorate. Returning to Marshall in June 2008, May was named Marshall’s associate director, technical, a post he held until being named SLS program manager.
May earned a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, in 1990. His many awards include NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and the John W. Hager Award for professionalism in materials engineering. He has been named a Distinguished Engineer by Auburn. In 2014, he received Aviation Week’s Program Excellence Award, as well as the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation’s Stellar Award in recognition of the SLS team’s many accomplishments.
A native of Fairhope, Alabama, May and his wife, Kelly, have four children and live in Huntsville.
For more information about NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/marshall
Want to become an astronaut to visit Mars?
Today, NASA put out a press release with information on how to apply to become an astronaut for the future manned flight to Mars.
Normally these just go into the page for Media Releases. But this is a good time to tell you that I have created a new page called:
below is the beginning of the press release. The link after it takes you to our new Media page.
While many options such as asking questions and getting access to their teleconference systems, with most press releases, if a meeting or a panel is conviened, NASA will allow the public to view it live either on its website or on NASA TV.
Each press release has all the information you need to watch and listen to the questions the press ask and the respones they get.
The link to the new page is: Media Releases (Information For Journalists)
This page is also available and lists below it with “–” showing the releases available. Click on the 3 lines in the upper right corner to see all the pages we have and to access all the press releases we get.
Here is the first two paragraph of the press release asking for applications to anyone who thinks they can become an astronaut. Good luck to anyone applying.
“In anticipation of returning human spaceflight launches to American soil, and in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars, NASA announced it will soon begin accepting applications for the next class of astronaut candidates. With more human spacecraft in development in the United States today than at any other time in history, future astronauts will launch once again from the Space Coast of Florida on American-made commercial spacecraft, and carry out deep-space exploration missions that will advance a future human mission to Mars.
The agency will accept applications from Dec. 14 through mid-February and expects to announce candidates selected in mid-2017. Applications for consideration as a NASA Astronaut will be accepted at…”