NASA names new manager of International Space Station Program
NASA’s springboard for discovery, deep space exploration and innovation has a new chief. The agency has named Kirk Shireman as the new director of its International Space Station (ISS) Program, based at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where Shireman has worked as deputy center director since 2013.
William Gerstenmaier, secondary administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington said: “Kirk brings considerable space station experience to this new leadership role. He will manage the overall development, operation and integration of the program.” “As program manager, Kirk will work directly with international partners to ensure safe and reliable operation of the orbiting laboratory, and foster continued scientific research that benefits humanity and helps prepare the agency for its journey to Mars.”
Kirk Shireman has been named manager of NASA’s International Space Station Program.
Shireman worked as deputy ISS program director from 2006 to 2013, just prior to stepping into the position of deputy center director. Shireman, also served as the chair of the ISS Mission Management Team after managing several of its subsystem offices, and managed many offices for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Kirk Shireman earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station and began his career with NASA in 1985.
NASA has recognized Shireman with the agency’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, Silver Snoopy award in 1990 and Presidential Rank Award in 2010. In 2013, the National Space Club awarded Shireman its Eagle Manned Mission Award for his outstanding management of the International Space Station.
Shireman succeeds Michael Suffredini, who is leaving the agency to obtain a rank in private industry.
Gerstenmaier said: “During Mike’s tenure, the international project well completed construction and transitioned into a fully efficient microgravity laboratory. Under his leadership, the station opened avenues for a new commercial marketplace in space and established a platform for groundbreaking research.”
Since Suffredini became program director in 2005, the space station has progressed to become the jumping-off point for NASA’s next giant leap in discovery, enabling study and technology developments that will benefit robotic and human exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars and asteroids. To date, more than 1,700 exploration experiments have been conducted aboard the station, bringing together researchers from more than 80 states in an effort to better the lives of all humanity.
Suffredini joined NASA in January 1989. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.