NASA Spaceflight Chief Resigns 8 Days before Launch

Just eight days before NASA is scheduled to launch its first manned space mission in nearly a decade, the organization’s head of human spaceflight has abruptly resigned.

Doug Loverro, who joined NASA in October, says he turned in his resignation Monday due to his own “personal actions” — and not NASA’s. “The risks we take, whether technical, political or personal, all have potential consequences if we judge them incorrectly,” Loverro says. “I took such a risk earlier in the year because I judged it necessary to fulfill our mission. Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences.” It’s unclear what Loverro’s “mistake” was.

Ken Bowersox, a former Naval aviator who’s worked for NASA and SpaceX, has been appointed to serve as Loverro’s temporary replacement, NASA officials say. He’ll oversee the upcoming mission, which is set to launch May 27th.