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NASA Chief O'Keefe Resigns

AFP file photo of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe on 14 January, 2004, speaking about the ambitions and vision of US space programs at NASA headquarters in Washington.
Washington DC (UPI) Dec 13, 2004
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe Monday announced his resignation after three years on the job.

O'Keefe was appointed by President Bush as the 10th National Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator Dec. 21, 2001, following a stint as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has presided over an agency that has been full of controversy and promise.

O'Keefe is embattled over his decision not to send a shuttle mission to repair the aging Hubble Space Telescope. He has said he prefers to explore robotic options to attempt to extend the Hubble's mission while a report released last week by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences concluded a shuttle mission has the best chance of success.

Sources said the front runner to replace O'Keefe is retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ron Kadish.

O'Keefe is under consideration for the position of chancellor of Louisiana State University.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan Monday said the resignation was not unexpected.

Administrator O'Keefe has previously indicated to us that he is planning on leaving, McClellan said. But he is someone the president believes has done a great job over at NASA, and we appreciate the work that he has done.

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NASA Head To Resign
Washington (AFP) Dec 12, 2004
NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe is expected to resign his job at the helm of the US space agency this week, according to news reports Sunday.