NASA Internal Memo: John Mankins Departs NASA

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2005

Subject:  Time for a Change

September 23, 2005

Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great regret that I inform you of my decision to leave NASA.

After 25 years of being privileged to work at the world's finest space research and technology development organization—first during 10 years as a California Institute of Technology employee at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and then during 15 years as a civil servant at NASA Headquarters—and with some of the best colleagues and friends one could hope for—I have decided that it is time for a change. Today, September 23, 2005, is my last day with the Agency.

I would like to express sincere appreciation for the many opportunities NASA has given me. First, I had the opportunity to work at JPL in the Deep Space Network, in the Systems Division and for various programs and flight projects.  Then, the chance to work at HQ in many organizations, supporting numerous programs, and in various roles--including leading the development of an Integrated Technology Plan for the Agency, serving as the Chief Technologist for Human Exploration and Development of Space, and culminating last year in the chance to manage many of NASA1s space research and technology programs in support of the Vision for Space Exploration. The Agency's decision to honor me as the first recipient of the NASA Medal for Exceptional Technology Achievement is a memory I shall always cherish.  I have learned more than I can say from these experiences and from the wonderful, professional people with whom I have been privileged to work. Finally, I would also like to express my appreciation for the consideration shown to me by the leadership of Goddard during the transition from Headquarters.

Our family (myself, my wife, Katie and our daughter, Willa) will always consider ourselves to be a part of the NASA family.  I look forward to working with you in the future.

With respect and regards,

John C. Mankins

A post script or two: 

Due to the challenges for the Agency resulting from Hurricane Rita, I expect that this message may reach some of you following my departure later today: I apologize for that possibility... 

Also, given the vagaries of the email system and shortcomings in the disposition of files, my office email is not working and I have opted to use my home account to send this message.  As a result, I know that I have not been able to include many of those that I should have on the address list for this message.  Please share this note with friends and colleagues as you think best, with my apologies for not contacting them directly.  Thanks.

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