Wed, Sep 14, 2005
Former Director Returns To Help Rebuild
As repairs continue to the Katrina-battered Stennis Space Center
near Gulfport, MS, NASA has named a new director for the facility
-- someone who is quite familiar with the rebuilding process.
William (Bill) W.
Parsons was selected by NASA to immediately succeed retired Rear
Admiral Thomas Donaldson, USN. According to a NASA press release,
Donaldson is on special assignment with FEMA to help with recovery
efforts in Mississippi.
Parsons has worked at Stennis before, first as the chief of
operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate in 1997. After
briefly relocating to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, Parsons
returned to Stennis in 2001 to become director of the Center
Operations and Support Directorate -- the position he will now hold
In May 2003, Parsons became Space Shuttle program manager,
leading Return to Flight efforts for the agency.
He played a major role in the shuttle's rebuilding program in
the wake of the Columbia tragedy -- including last month's
successful STS-114 flight of Discovery.
Parsons has received numerous honors, including NASA's
Exceptional Service Medal; the National Intelligence Medal of
Achievement; the Silver Snoopy, awarded by astronauts for
outstanding performance in flight safety and mission success; the
Center Directors' Commendation; and the Commandants Certificate of
Commendation from the U.S. Marine Corps.
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