From: Hale, N W. (JSC-MA)
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2008 11:16 AM
Subject: To the Shuttle Team
Just about three months ago in an email message similar to this, I told you it was my intention to stay with the shuttle program to the end in 2010. That is certainly where my heart lies and to finish out the program was my full intention.
However, life does not always turn out as we plan. Or maybe it does. I came to work in an agency nearly 30 years ago with the idea that we would return to the moon and go on to Mars within my career. That really was, and is, my goal.
In the last few days the agency has asked me to take on an urgent and important job which will be very important for our long range intentions to succeed in these bigger goals of returning to the moon and then sending people on to explore Mars and the rest of the solar system.
This is new position which I am asked to step into is a daunting task that will require moving considerably out of my comfort zone.
So it is with a mixed emotions, excitement and regret, that I tell you I will be leaving the job of Space Shuttle Program Manager effective immediately.
John Shannon will be taking over the reins as program manager. You all know John so I do not have to explain to you that he is extraordinarily well prepared to do this. John is an outstanding leader, a great listener, a man of incredibly good judgment, and comes with a vast knowledge of the technical details of the space shuttle and its support systems.
I have great confidence in the outstanding team that makes every shuttle flight safe and successful. There are great days ahead and all of you are up to that task. Keep your eye on the ball and make us proud!
I am sure that you will.
Meanwhile, I am not going far; you will continue to see me and you are all free to ask questions, advice if you think any I have to offer is worthwhile; and more importantly I need you to give me advice as to how we can build partnerships that will firmly cement the success of our future programs.
Expect to see me coming to ask you for help and advice.
One last thing: this is not about a bigger title (who cares) or about a bigger office (it's smaller) or more pay (nada): it is about where I can best serve the agency and our greater mission. I will count on you to serve where you are called with the same intensity of purpose as I will bring to my new job.
Not farewell then, but good luck!