NASA Internal Memo: Farewell Note from Doug Cooke

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011

image From: Cooke, Douglas (HQ-BA000)
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2011 2:41 PM
Subject: [exploration] Farewell

To the Exploration Team,

This is my last day at NASA and writing to you is one of my final acts here. In looking back on my career at NASA that began in September of 1973, I have many great memories of working on Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Exploration. The memories are also of many great people like you that I have had the opportunity to work with and the many wonderful friends I have made within this community. It has been an incredible experience. Throughout my career, my greatest desire for NASA and this country has been to get to a point where we are once again working toward visiting new places in our solar system with our explorers and their machines; making unprecedented discoveries. That means having the balance in how transportation is handled to and from Low Earth Orbit, developing the technologies and capabilities to make human space flight to distant locations feasible, planning and implementing precursors and tests, learning what we need to know about human strengths and frailties so we can send them safely, developing the vehicles to enable those missions, and planning for the missions themselves. We are on the path to do these things. Being in the position to lead this Exploration team has been a privilege and honor. We have been through challenging times together. I have said many times how impressed I am with the continued dedication and determination of this team during these challenging times. You have continued to excel and achieve successes. You should be proud of your achievements. They are the basis for the future of Human Space Exploration of the solar system. Over the past few months we have worked together to reach resolution on the path forward. I have confidence that you all will implement it successfully. As ESMD and SOMD are transitioning to the new Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, I know that Bill Gerstenmaier shares the same passion and vision that I have for our future in space. Please support him with the same dedication that you have demonstrated in reaching the point we are at today. I have confidence that you will.

I am proud to have worked with all of you and thank you for your tireless efforts.

Let's go Explore!!!

All the best.

Doug Cooke

PS. I plan to stay engaged in a related capacity that I have not had time yet to fully think about, so I hope that we will cross paths in the future. If you want to contact me, please ask for my information through Sue Fenn.

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