Former Shuttle Pilot Cites Family Responsibilities
Scott J. "Doc" Horowitz, associate administrator for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate, has announced plans to leave the agency in
Horowitz (above) is a retired US Air Force colonel who served as
commander or pilot on four space shuttle missions, now leads NASA's
efforts to develop the new family of spacecraft that will return
astronauts to the moon by 2020, said the space agency.
Horowitz says he is stepping down for personal reasons. "I need
to devote more attention to my family responsibilities," the father
of three young children told colleagues this week.
"I am very proud of our team and where we are headed -- back to
the moon," he added.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin praised the veteran astronaut's
tireless contribution to the Vision for Space Exploration.
"Doc Horowitz has been the key person for NASA's exploration
effort during the critical period immediately following definition
of the architecture for shuttle replacement and lunar return,"
"The Ares I crew launch vehicle concept is Doc's brainchild, a
fact that crews launching safely a generation from now will
remember with gratitude," the administrator continued.
"Doc brought to NASA the perfect combination of integrity,
drive, intelligence, engineering intuition, advanced education and
flight crew experience. I am grateful for his contributions and his
friendship, which will live on for both of us."
Prior to being named associate administrator for exploration in
September 2005, Horowitz was director of exploration and space
transportation at ATK, Brigham City, Utah. Previously, Horowitz
worked as the acting deputy associate administrator for safety and
mission assurance at NASA Headquarters in Washington, according to
Horowitz was an Air Force test pilot, F-15 fighter pilot and
master flight instructor. He has worked as a scientist at
Lockheed-Georgia Co., Marietta, GA. He holds doctorate and master's
degrees in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of
Technology in Atlanta and a bachelor's degree in engineering from
California State University at Northridge.
Horowitz' career plans are not certain, and his successor will
be named later.
The announcement came as NASA associate administrator Rex
Geveden also said he will be leaving the agency at the end of the
month, to become president of Teledyne Brown Engineering in
Huntsville, AL. NASA chief engineer Christopher Scolese will
replace Geveden, according to Florida Today.
News of two high-level executives leaving the agency on the same
day was "strictly coincidental," in the words of NASA spokeswoman