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Report: shuttle manager Dittemore to resign
Posted: Sun, Apr 20, 2003, 3:05 PM ET (1905 GMT)
Ron Dittemore (NASA/JSC) Space shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore, one of the key figures in the Columbia accident investigation, is expected to resign in the near future to take a job in the private sector. The Orlando Sentinel first reported Saturday that Dittemore was expected to tender his resignation in the next week, although when Dittemore would actually leave the agency was unclear. When contacted Saturday by the Houston Chronicle, Dittemore declined to comment about the reports. According to the Sentinel and later reports, Dittemore had planned to leave the agency after the STS-107 mission even before its launch, but remained on to provide stability during the investigation. Dittemore was highly visible immediately after the accident, leading several briefings in the first week after the loss of the shuttle, but then stepped back after the independent accident investigation board took over. There was no indication of what new job Dittemore would take, although he would need a waiver from NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe to take a private-sector job related to the shuttle for the first year after his resignation. A search for a successor is underway, although no candidates have been identified.
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