Jody Singer, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Director, announced Monday her retirement, effective Saturday, July 29, after more than 38 years of service. Among many firsts in her career, Singer was appointed as the first female center director at Marshall in 2018, after serving as deputy director from 2016 to 2018.
Marshall’s current deputy center director, Joseph Pelfrey, will serve as the interim acting director until Singer’s successor is identified through a nationwide search and open competition.
“I wish Jody well during her retirement. And I know individuals at the beginning of their career at NASA – and members of the Artemis Generation who dream of working here – will be inspired by Jody’s service, knowing their contributions can help return NASA astronauts to the Moon and prepare us for crewed missions to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “And Joseph Pelfrey is no stranger to Marshall, having joined the center two decades ago as an aerospace engineer. Today, he helps guide Marshall’s broad portfolio of human spaceflight, science, and technology development, which supports missions across NASA. We are confident Joseph is prepared to guide Marshall through this transition.”
As center director, Singer managed one of NASA’s largest field installations, with nearly 7,000 on- and near-site civil service and contractor employees with an annual budget of approximately $5 billion.
Under Singer’s leadership, NASA Marshall, known for its prominence in large space transportation systems, has expanded its portfolio to include human lunar landing and cargo systems, space habitation and transit systems, advanced propulsion, additive manufacturing, science payload operations, Mars ascent spacecraft and cutting-edge science and technology missions through innovative partnerships with other NASA centers, industry, government agencies and academia. The Marshall team was critical to the successes of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, and SLS (Space Launch System), the agency’s powerful heavy-lift rocket.
Singer joined NASA in 1985 though the professional intern program. She joined the Space Shuttle Program Office in 1986 as an engineer in the Space Shuttle Main Engine Office and was involved with Return to Flight activities after the space shuttle Challenger accident. She was the first female project manager for the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project from 2002 to 2007 and led the team during the shuttle Columbia Return to Flight activities. Starting in 2008 until the shuttle’s successful retirement in 2011, she was deputy manager in the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office. Cumulatively, Jody was part of 110 space shuttle launches.
Serving in roles of increasing responsibility, Singer held deputy positions for three concurrent programs, the space shuttle, Ares, and the start-up of SLS. As deputy for the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office, she guided successful fly-out and retirement of the shuttle and the transition of workforce and assets to the Ares Project Office and SLS Program. As the deputy program manager of SLS at Marshall, she helped oversee almost 3,000 civil servants and contractors involved in the developing, testing, and certification of the rocket. From 2013 to 2016, Singer was manager of the Flight Programs and Partnerships Office at Marshall, where she held primary responsibility for the center’s work with human advanced exploration projects, science flight mission programs, technology demonstration missions, commercial crew and International Space Station life support systems, research facilities, and payload mission operations.
Singer has twice been a NASA Fellow, at Pennsylvania State College and Simmons College Graduate School of Management. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious NASA awards, including the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Silver Snoopy, and NASA Outstanding Leadership medals. She also is a recipient of two Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Awards. Her external recognitions include Rotary Stellar National Award for Space Achievement; Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame; Distinguished Fellow by the University of Alabama College of Engineering; Gardner Award; AIAA Associate Fellow; 2022 Alabama Engineer of the Year; and the AIAA Herman Oberth Award.
Georgia, Texas Students to Hear from NASA Astronauts Aboard Station
Students from Georgia and Texas will have separate opportunities next week to hear from NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
At 10:05 a.m. EDT on Sept. 6, NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Frank Rubio will answer prerecorded questions from students in Olmito, Texas. The event, hosted by the South Texas Astronomical Society, will engage students from the predominantly Latino community of Brownsville, Texas. Retired NASA astronaut Mike Fossum will offer closing remarks.
At 10:25 a.m. on Sept. 7, Moghbeli and Rubio also will answer prerecorded questions from students at Dames Ferry Elementary School in Gray, Georgia. Through this event the school hopes to expose rural students to STEM and aerospace opportunities.
For more than 22 years, astronauts have continuously lived and worked aboard the space station, testing technologies, performing science, and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth. Astronauts living in space aboard the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston 24 hours a day through the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Near Space Network. Important research and technology investigations taking place aboard the International Space Station benefit people on Earth and lay the groundwork for future exploration.
As part of Artemis, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon to prepare for future human exploration of Mars. Inspiring the next generation of explorers – the Artemis Generation – ensures America will continue to lead in space exploration and discovery.
PHOTOS: Cygnus NG-19 Rocket Launches, Carrying New Experiments, Supplies to International Space Station
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (FNN) – With no weather in the area disrupting the launch countdown, the Cygnus NG-19 mission successfully lifted off on time at 8:31pm EST Tuesday.
For the past 10 years, the Cygnus spacecraft has been helping to resupply and service the International Space Station. During the first mission on September 18th, 2013, just 1,300 pounds of cargo were carried to the Space Station. The missions and capacity of the craft has expanded over the years, and with the completion of Tuesday’s launch, over 8,000 pounds (over four tons) of cargo were sent into orbit.
Tuesday’s mission included significant changes to the rocket that was being used to carry the payload to orbit. Besides delivering extra food to the astronauts currently on the ISS, the Cygnus craft will also assist in raising the orbit of the station (which is done from time to time to prevent the ISS from deorbiting), and deliver a series of new science experiments that current and future astronauts on station will work on.
On top of the mission profile, this mission marks the last time Cygnus will travel atop the Antares 230+ Rocket, with a new vehicle being worked on for all future missions in partnership with Firefly. In the meantime, SpaceX will take over, being the main transport rocket for a select few Cygnus missions. This Antares 230+ configuration uses engines and parts from Russian and Ukrainian partners, so the end of this mission will be the end of the current partnership with Pivdenmash and NPO Energomash from Ukraine and Russia respectively.
Also, as with all other Northrop Grumman missions, each vehicle is dedicated to a specific individual who would be considered a pioneer in human spaceflight. For this particular mission, the craft has been dedicated to Laurel Blair Clark, one of the seven astronauts who unfortunately died during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. Her reputation and body of work with NASA is expansive and is an inspiration to all who are interested in space, science, and spaceflight.
Though most eyes stay focused on the Kennedy Space Center for its obvious history and fame, the launch facility on Wallops Island is just as important and decorated as the launch sites in Florida, providing an important base for vehicle research, smaller student-based missions, and, of course, ISS resupply from well-decorated companies and launch providers.
Nickolas Wolf is a national photojournalist for Florida National News.
Amazon said it had its biggest Prime day event ever this year
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Thursday it had its biggest Prime day event ever this year.
The e-commerce company, as in past years, did not reveal how much money it earned during the two-day sales event, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday and offered a plethora of deals on electronics, home goods and other items.
But Amazon touted 375 million items that it says were purchased worldwide by Prime members, who pay $14.99 per month or $139 per year, for different perks including faster shipping. It also said sales growth for independent sellers on Amazon outpaced the company’s retail business during the discount event.
“The first day of Prime Day was the largest sales day in Amazon’s history, and Prime members saved more this year than any other Prime Day event,” Doug Herrington, an Amazon executive who oversees the company’s online and mobile shopping, said in a prepared statement.
Some outside groups also reported a bump in overall e-commerce sales during Amazon’s event. Adobe Analytics data showed U.S. online sales reached $12.7 billon on the two shopping days, up 6.1% compared to a year ago.