Since Shuttle director Ron
Dittemore announced his imminent retirement
April 23, the short list of likely successors has been whittled
down, and now there's just one: William Parsons.
Parsons, 47, has been director at NASA's Stennis facility in
Mississippi since the retirement of Roy Estess on August 25 of
2001. He's a Marine, and an engineer. He joined NASA in 1990. He
will work with the retiring Dittemore for a short time, and take
over entirely when Mr D leaves, in a few weeks.
He said he knows what the new job could entail, and he enters
it, he said, "with a bit of trepidation." He continued, "This is a
big challenge for me and I had to think through it," before
accepting the position.
Apparently more a scientific than political mind, he was asked
if the Shuttle program will continue. He's waiting, as are the rest
of us, for the findings of the Columbia disaster board;
but he said that, "If things need to be changed, we will change