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NASA names new director of Marshall Space Center in Alabama

Marshall Space Flight Center's new director, Joseph Pelfrey, was appointed in April 2022 as Marshall's deputy center director and served in various NASA roles during his time with the agency. File Photo courtesy of NASA
Marshall Space Flight Center's new director, Joseph Pelfrey, was appointed in April 2022 as Marshall's deputy center director and served in various NASA roles during his time with the agency. File Photo courtesy of NASA

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Monday that Marshall Space Flight Center's Acting Director Joseph Pelfrey will assume the role on a permanent basis effective immediately.

Nelson called Pelfrey -- the acting director of the Huntsville, Ala., facility since July 2023 -- a "respected leader who shares the passion for innovation and exploration at NASA Marshall."

Pelfrey will continue to oversee the "world-renowned team of scientists, engineers and technologists who have a hand in nearly every NASA mission," Nelson added.

The Marshall facility is "renowned for its expertise in exploration and scientific discovery," Palfrey said. "I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the center into the future."

Nelson said the Artemis moon and Mars projects under Pelfrey "will continue to make critical advancements."

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (pictured at the Kennedy Space Center in August) called Joseph Pelfrey a “respected leader who shares the passion for innovation and exploration at NASA Marshall.” File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (pictured at the Kennedy Space Center in August) called Joseph Pelfrey a “respected leader who shares the passion for innovation and exploration at NASA Marshall.” File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

NASA Marshall -- one of the agency's largest field centers -- manages NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where some of the largest parts are made for the Artemis space program.

The 7,000-employee center is responsible for the oversight of $5 billion worth of space projects for human spaceflight, and science and technology development.

The new director said Marshall will continue its efforts to shape the future of space exploration "by leading [space launch systems] and human landing system development for Artemis and leveraging our capabilities to make critical advancements" in an array of areas, including human landing and cargo systems, habitation, and transportation systems.

Pelfrey -- who earned an aerospace engineering degree from Auburn University in 2002 -- was appointed in April 2022 as Marshall's deputy center director and served in various NASA roles during his time with the agency.