posted April 14, 2005 01:18 PM
Michael D. Griffin reported to work today as NASA's 11th Administrator. Administrator Griffin becomes the leader of the agency on the day the Expedition 11 crew is set to launch to the International Space Station. The Administrator was confirmed late Wednesday night by the U.S. Senate. An official swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled later.
"I have great confidence in the team that will carry out our nation's exciting, outward-focused, destination-oriented program," said Griffin. "In the coming days, I'll be spending a good deal of my time reviewing our progress toward returning the Space Shuttle safely to flight. I will also be reviewing the activities of our mission directorates and our various supporting functions. 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."
During his confirmation hearing Tuesday before the U.S. Senate, the Administrator stated his priorities, consistent with the President's Vision for Space Exploration will be:
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.
- Fly the Space Shuttle as safely as possible until its retirement, not 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
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, Dulles, Va., 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.
He taught 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
He 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.
[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited April 14, 2005).]