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Abbey reassigned to NASA HQ; Estess new JSC director
Updated: Sat, Feb 24, 2001, 10:41 AM ET (1541 GMT)
Originally Posted: Fri, Feb 23, 2001, 10:22 PM ET (0322 GMT)
George Abbey In a somewhat surprising move, NASA announced late Friday that Johnson Space Center (JSC) director George Abbey has been appointed to NASA Headquarters as Senior Assistant for International Issues to NASA administrator Dan Goldin. Abbey's role at Headquarters was not well defined in the NASA press release -- distributed after the normal close of business in Washington -- which largely lauded Abbey for his role heading up JSC since 1995. The timing of the announcement is rather unusual because many Washington insiders believe that Goldin's days as the head of NASA are numbered: NASA Watch reported earlier this week that former Congressman Bob Walker had been offered the position by the Bush Administration, while giving no hints of any change in Abbey's role in the agency. This has led some to speculate that Abbey is being demoted, if not "slowly fired", for up to $4 billion in new cost overruns in the International Space Station project. Abbey's position at JSC will be filled on at least an acting basis by Roy Estess, the current director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Estess will work with Joe Rothenberg, NASA associate administrator for human space flight, to find a permanent replacement for Abbey at JSC.
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