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NASA's human spaceflight chief resigns just days before historic SpaceX manned launch

NASA plans to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft.

WASHINGTON — The head of NASA's human spaceflight office has resigned just a little more than one week before the agency plans to have its first manned launch from American soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

Doug Loverro was selected in October as NASA's new associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate 

In a congressional notification first obtained by POLITICO, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Loverro resigned on Monday. 

"Loverro hit the ground running this year and has made significant progress in his time at NASA,” Bridenstine said in a message to NASA employees. “His leadership of HEO has moved us closer to accomplishing our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024. Loverro has dedicated more than four decades of his life in service to our country, and I want to thank him for his service and contributions to the agency.” 

On May 27, NASA plans to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. It will be the first time since 2011 that a manned spaceflight had taken off from American soil.

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Ken Bowersox, the current deputy associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations office, will serve as acting administrator. 

Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
Douglas Loverro, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani