Washington, United States (4E) – U.S. space agency NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) Michael Coats Friday announced Friday his intention to step down as Director at the end of this year.
Veteran astronaut Ellen Ochoa, will replace him, TV channel ABC13 reported.
“Ellen’s enthusiasm, experience and leadership, including her superb job as deputy director, make her a terrific successor to Mike as director of JSC,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said while announcing the replacement.
Ochoa, who has been serving the JSC as deputy director since 2007, was the first Hispanic woman to go to space.
During her first visit on space shuttle Discovery in 1993, she spent nine days in the space. Besides, she flew four times and spent nearly 1,000 hours in orbit. Bolden also announced James Free as the new leader of Cleveland’s Glenn Research Center.
He will replace Director Ramon Lugo, who will retire in January.