Volume: 03, Issue: 08 04/20/2005 
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin took the oath of office April 14 during a private ceremony at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Image courtesy NASA/Renee Bouchard.
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Administrator Griffin speaks with NASA employees at Headquarters on his first day on the job. Click to enlarge. Image courtesy NASA/Renee Bouchard.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
International Space Station Welcomes New Inhabitants
Discovery Passes Tanking Test
Cassini Zooms In on Titan
Chat Live with Former Astronaut Dr. Edward Gibson
 

Michael Griffin Takes Reigns as NASA Administrator

Michael D. Griffin reported to work April 14 as NASA's 11th Administrator, following the resignation or former administrator Sean O’Keefe. Griffin was confirmed as the new administrator on April 13 by the U.S. Senate.

“I share with the agency a great sense of privilege that we have been given the wonderful opportunity to extend humanity's reach throughout the solar system," Griffin said.

During his confirmation hearing April 12 before the U.S. Senate, the Administrator stated his priorities. His objectives are consistent with the President's Vision for Space Exploration:

  • Fly the Space Shuttle as safely as possible until its retirement, no later than 2010.
  • Bring a new Crew Exploration Vehicle into service as soon as possible after the Space Shuttle is retired.
  • Develop a balanced overall program of science, exploration, and aeronautics at NASA, consistent with the redirection of the human spaceflight program to focus on exploration.
  • Complete the International Space Station in a manner consistent with our international partner commitments and the needs of human exploration.
  • Encourage the pursuit of appropriate partnerships with the emerging commercial space sector.
  • Establish a lunar return program having the maximum possible utility for later missions to Mars and other destinations.

    President George W. Bush nominated Griffin as NASA Administrator in March, while he was serving as the Space Department Head at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Baltimore.

    Griffin was President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc., before joining Johns Hopkins in April 2004. He also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation, including Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Systems, Inc. Earlier in his career, Administrator Griffin served as Chief Engineer at NASA and as Deputy for Technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.

    He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University, teaching courses in spacecraft design, applied mathematics, guidance and navigation, compressible flow, computational fluid dynamics, spacecraft attitude control, astrodynamcis, and introductory aerospace engineering. He is the lead author of more than two dozen technical papers, as well as the textbook Space Vehicle Design.

    A registered professional engineer in Maryland and California, the Administrator is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the AIAA Space Systems Medal and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given to a non-government employee. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings.

    Micheal Griffin received a bachelor's degree in Physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in Aerospace Science from Catholic University of America; a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland; a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California; a master's degree in Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in Business Administration from Loyola College; and a master's degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University.

    For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov .

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