WASHINGTON - On Friday, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin named Richard J. Gilbrech as associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the NASA division designing the next generation of spacecraft to return astronauts to the moon and eventually journey to Mars. Gilbrech currently serves as the director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Griffin also named Robert D. Cabana, deputy director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, to replace Gilbrech as center director at Stennis.
Gilbrech will succeed Scott Horowitz, who will leave his position in early October to pursue interests outside NASA.
"Scott Horowitz is someone who has seen it all and done it all in aerospace -- Ph.D. researcher, fighter pilot, test pilot, astronaut, and the possessor of a brilliant system engineer's mind," Griffin said. "He was the perfect choice to kick-start NASA's effort to replace the shuttle and return to the moon; the Ares I always will be seen as Scott's brainchild. I will forever consider him to be both a good friend and a valued colleague. But I respect his need to move on.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have as his replacement someone of Rick Gilbrech's training, talent, and experience," Griffin continued. "Rick was our 'go to guy' when we needed someone to head a tiger team to deal with the loss of the shuttle PAL ramp foam on STS-114. 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."