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Trump adds six more to NASA transition team

Steve Cook, left, and Aerojet Rocketyne's Julie Van Kleeck brief reporters on the AR-1 engine at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in April. Credit: SpaceNews/Brian Berger

WASHINGTON — The transition team for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump added six more people to the NASA landing team Friday, including senior Dynetics executive Steve Cook and former astronaut Sandy Magnus.

Cook was in charge of the Ares 1 and Ares 5 rocket programs at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, until leaving the agency in 2009 for Huntsville-based Dynetics. The Ares program was canceled under President Barack Obama, but elements of both rockets were folded into NASA’s design for the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket the agency is building to launch the Orion crew vehicle on deep space missions.

As a Dynetics corporate vice president, Cook has been closely involved in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s development of the AR-1 engine — a candidate to replace the Russian RD-180 on United Launch Alliance’s next-generation rocket.

Magnus, who has been to space three times, left NASA in 2012 to become executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The other members announced Friday are:

  • Greg Autry of the University of Southern California
  • Jack Burns of the University of Colorado
  • Rodney Liesveld, a former senior policy adviser at NASA
  • Jeff Waksman, a former research fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives

The NASA landing team is lead by Chris Shank, who worked for House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) until last week.

Shank worked for NASA from 2005 to 2009, during the tenure of administrator Mike Griffin.

SpaceNews.com

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Trump adds six more to NASA transition team

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