NASA Associate Admin. Stern Resigns

Both Space.com and The Planetary Society report today that Alan Stern has resigned from the office of Associate Administrator for the science missions directorate at NASA.  The resignation was not expected.

From Space.com:NASA is recalling Goddard Space Flight Center Director Ed Weiler to the U.S. space agency’s headquarters here to take over the Science Mission Directorate in the wake of Alan Stern’s resignation.

Stern, a seasoned planetary scientist who joined NASA in April 2007 to pursue a reform-minded agenda, informed colleagues in an e-mail March 26 that he would be leaving the agency in the month ahead.

In his e-mail, which he sent out at 8:34 a.m., according to the time stamp, Stern said that he offered his resignation March 25 and that NASA Administrator Mike Griffin “reluctantly accepted” it.

From The Planetary Society:

A surprising and sad development at NASA Headquarters this morning: Alan Stern has resigned as the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. I don’t know any details but the timing strongly suggests it has to do with the kerfuffle about Mars program funding.

We blogged here about the “kerfuffle” at JPL over the future of the Mars Rovers.

Stern remains Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto.

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