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Paula Cleggett

Headquarters, Washington, DC February 23, 2001

(Phone: 202/358-1400)



NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin today appointed

George Abbey, Director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC), as
his Senior Assistant for International Issues. This
appointment comes after a highly decorated career stemming
from the Apollo program, which earned Abbey the Medal of
Freedom for his role on the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team.

Roy Estess, Director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in

Mississippi, will serve as the acting director of JSC.
Stennis is the Agency's lead center for rocket propulsion
testing and for commercial remote sensing.

"George has done a commendable job of leading a safe and

dependable Space Shuttle program," said Goldin. "The
International Space Station is now a reality, thanks to
George's extensive commitment and capability. Destiny, the
U.S. laboratory module, was successfully delivered to the ISS
just a week ago. The United States has a permanent presence
in space. I am profoundly grateful to George for his
professional and personal dedication to the Agency.

"As the President has indicated, there needs to be reform in

human spaceflight. During this time of transition, it is also
the time for a change of leadership at the Johnson Space
Center. We face a difficult and challenging future within the
space program, and Roy Estess, working closely with Joe
Rothenberg, Associate Administrator for Space Flight, will
ensure a firm footing during this period.

"The people at the Johnson Space Center are outstanding, and

they will continue to make the space program strong. Roy
Estess is a great Center Director, and I encourage the JSC
staff to give Roy their full support," said Goldin.

Rothenberg will have the responsibility, along with Estess, to

look at the talent at NASA and make recommendations as to who
should be the new leader of JSC. Estess' 40-year career in
critical engineering and management positions distinguished
him as a recognized leader, twice receiving the Presidential
Distinguished Service Award.

Rothenberg, head of NASA's Human Exploration and Development

of Space Enterprise, has institutional responsibilities for
the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Kennedy Space Center
in Florida, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and
the Stennis Space Center. Rothenberg previously served as the
Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Spanning a 50-year career, Abbey's legacy reveals a

professional dedication that created hallmarks in the history
of space flight. Resigning his Air Force commission in 1967,
he distinguished himself at the Johnson Space Center through
increasingly responsible positions where he served as the
Director of Flight Operations, responsible for the early
operational flights of the Space Shuttle, and the Director of
Flight Crew Operations, responsible for management of flight
crews as well as center aircraft.

Abbey held senior level positions at NASA Headquarters before

he was named acting JSC Director in 1995, becoming Center
Director in 1996. In 1991, he was appointed to the Executive
Office of the President as Senior Director, Civil Space
Policy, National Space Council.

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