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January 12, 2000

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(281) 483-5111

Release: J00-03

Astronaut, Senior Shuttle Manager McMonagle Departs NASA

Veteran astronaut and senior Space Shuttle manager Donald R. McMonagle has announced his departure from NASA for a position in private industry effective Jan. 14, 2000. McMonagle's duties at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, as Shuttle Manager of Launch Integration will be temporarily assumed by Bill Gerstenmaier, Manager of Shuttle Program Integration at the Johnson Space Center, until a permanent replacement is named.

"Don has given tremendous service to NASA and this country," said Ron Dittemore, Space Shuttle Program Manager. "His expertise, wisdom and contributions to the safe and successful exploration of space have been invaluable. He will be greatly missed."

McMonagle has served at the Kennedy Space Center as Manager of Launch Integration for the Space Shuttle Program since 1997. His responsibilities included managing Shuttle launch preparations; overseeing launch of the Shuttle; and ensuring the safe return of the Shuttle to KSC following landings at remote locations. He also served as chairman of the Space Shuttle Mission Management Team for launch.

"The team that processes, launches and flies the Space Shuttle is composed of the most dedicated people with whom I have ever worked, and I have been deeply honored to count myself among them," McMonagle said. "I am leaving NASA with the firm belief that the Space Shuttle today is safer than it has ever been. And I’m confident that the Shuttle team is more firmly committed to achieving excellence in their job now than ever before."

McMonagle was selected as an astronaut by NASA in June 1987 and has flown on three Space Shuttle missions, logging more than 605 hours in space. He flew as a mission specialist aboard Discovery on mission STS-39 in April 1991; as pilot of Endeavour on STS-54 in January 1993; and commanded the crew of Atlantis on STS-66 in November 1994. Prior to assuming his current position, McMonagle was named in 1996 to establish a new Extravehicular Activity Project Office at NASA responsible for


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