To All Langley civil service and contractor employees:
After thoughtful deliberation, I have asked the Administrator to allow me to retire in January 2006. I have agreed to stay on as Center Director until a successor is named.
This decision was not an easy one for me. After much soul searching, I have reached the conclusion that my decision is in the best interest of the NASA family and my family. The causes of this turn of events are not simple, as life is not simple for any of us. While not a direct cause, the death of my daughter this summer, after a valiant three-year fight against cancer, had a deep personal impact on me. I owe it to those who have given their all, especially the Challenger and Columbia crews, to give not just my best, but my complete focus at all times. I feel that taking myself out of a very demanding leadership role is something that I need to do right now because I am not 100 percent focused. I believe this is the best way that I can honor my \"all in\" commitment to you with integrity.
Rest assured, I will remain a staunch supporter and advocate for the NASA team. The contributions that we have made in Discovery\'s Return to Flight, the record-setting flights of the X-43A, and the landings of Spirit and Opportunity on Mars have been phenomenal. I am proud of you as well as the larger NASA team of dedicated civil servants and contractors it took to succeed.
Leading first the Kennedy Space Center and then the Langley Research Center teams over the past eight-and-a-half years has been a career high point for my family and me. You are truly inspirational for what you do for the Nation and the world. I look forward to cheering on the NASA team as you continue to achieve extraordinary accomplishments. It is truly a high honor and pleasure to serve with you.
Roy D. Bridges, Jr.
NASA Langley Research Center