NASA acting director Robert Lightfoot retiring

NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot testifies to the House Science Committee’s subcommittee on space March 7. Credit NASA  Bill Ingalls

NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot testifies to the House Science Committee’s subcommittee on space March 7. Credit NASA Bill Ingalls

Robert Lightfoot, who has been serving as NASA's Acting Admistrator for more than a year, today announced that he will retire from the agency on April 30. "As Acting Administrator Lightfoot said himself, 'NASA make [s] the impossible possible.' I thank Robert for all he has done to achieve the impossible, and I look forward to a smooth transition to the next administrator and to what's to come as NASA soars toward its next achievements".

"I can not express enough my gratitude to the entire NASA team for the support during my career and especially the last 14 months as your acting administrator", Lightfoot said in the letter.

Chairman Smith: "Robert Lightfoot has served NASA exceptionally well for almost 30 years". He has been Acting Administrator since January 2017.

Prior to his appointment as AA, Lightfoot was Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. where he began his NASA career in 1989. He was named MSFC Deputy Director in 2007 and Director in 2009.

Lightfoot has been Associate Administrator (AA) - the third highest ranking position in the agency and usually the highest ranking civil servant position - since 2012.