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NASA Creates Human Exploration And Operations Directorate

August 12, 2011

Joshua Buck 
Headquarters, Washington      

RELEASE: 11-264


WASHINGTON -- NASA has announced the creation of the Human Exploration 
and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate. The new organization, which 
combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission 
directorates, will focus on International Space Station operations 
and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. 

"America is opening a bold new chapter in human space exploration," 
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "By combining the resources 
of Space Operations and Exploration Systems, and creating the Human 
Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, we are recommitting 
ourselves to American leadership in space for years to come." 

The new organization combines the talents, skills and experiences of 
the two previous directorates. It more fully integrates the operation 
of NASA's in-space assets and current capabilities with planning for 
the agency's future, including the size and type of the work force, 
facilities and contracts. 

While the transition and personnel assignments will take several weeks 
to finalize, the HEO Mission Directorate already is supporting space 
station operations. The directorate also will manage commercial crew 
and cargo developmental programs; construction of the Orion 
Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, a spacecraft designed to travel beyond 
low Earth orbit; development of a new heavy lift rocket, known as the 
Space Launch System; and other programs within the directorates. 

Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier will head the new 
organization. He previously served as the associate administrator for 
Space Operations. 

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: 



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